Ferrari drivers launch road safety campaign

Schumacher and Barrichello Think Before They Drive Ferrari Formula One stars Michael Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello have teamed up for a new race: a race to save lives on the road. At the launch of Think Before You Drive, a new global road...

Schumacher and Barrichello Think Before They Drive

Ferrari Formula One stars Michael Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello have teamed up for a new race: a race to save lives on the road.

At the launch of Think Before You Drive, a new global road safety campaign led by the FIA Foundation and Bridgestone Corporation, seven times Formula One world champion Michael Schumacher and his Ferrari team mate Rubens Barrichello formed an elite pit crew to demonstrate basic, potentially life saving activities that all car users should follow every time they drive in a car:

*Always use a child restraint
*Always wear your seat belt
*Adjust your head restraint
*Check your tyre condition

Designed to help reduce road deaths, globally estimated at 1.2 million a year, `Think Before You Drive' will promote these simple road safety messages aimed at limiting the severity of injuries in a crash or even helping to prevent a crash occurring.

The campaign also addresses many of the key road safety risk factors, including speeding and driving while under the influence of intoxicants. The campaign's icon, a crash test dummy who acts as the `road safety expert' in communicating the campaign's messages, supervised the Ferrari drivers' safety checks at the launch.

Speaking at the launch, hosted at the Spanish Grand Prix by the Royal Automobile Club of Catalonia (RACC), Michael Schumacher praised the Think Before You Drive campaign:

"Before every Formula One race I run through basic safety checks with my pit crew. And there are some simple tasks I always do to help me stay safe on the road. So I am pleased to support the road safety messages of the Think Before You Drive campaign".

"On the race track, the performance of my tyres can make the difference between winning and losing. On the road, the performance of your tyres could make the difference between living and dying. Check your tyre pressure and condition regularly and stay safe on the road. Think Before You Drive".

Rubens Barrichello explained why he is supporting the initiative:

"Three thousand people are killed on the world's roads every day. We can all do more to prevent these unnecessary and tragic deaths and injuries. The Think Before You Drive campaign promotes simple road safety behaviour that can help to keep every car driver and passenger safe on the roads".

Following the global launch at the Spanish Formula One Grand Prix in Barcelona on May 5th 2005, the `Think Before You Drive' campaign will be rolled out in Europe and then across the world over the next three years.

For Bridgestone Corporation, the campaign is an extension of the tyre safety educational activities that the Bridgestone Group companies globally conduct in Japan, North America, Europe and other regions. For the FIA Foundation, the campaign builds on recent successful seat belt campaigning in Europe and Latin America.

Components of the campaign include:

*Millions of road safety advice booklets contributed by Bridgestone which will be distributed by campaign partners, including national automobile clubs affiliated to the FIA Foundation;

*Seat belt crash simulators provided by the FIA Foundation will be in action at the Bridgestone stand at European stages of the Formula One Grand Prix season and at major Motor Shows;

*Millions of tyre gauges for measuring tyre pressure and tread depth will be distributed to the public at campaign events, by automobile club roadside patrols and at Formula One Grand Prix races;

*Red `Think' wristbands that can be worn to show support for the campaign.

Commenting on the campaign, Minekazu Fujimura, Chairman, CEO and President of Bridgestone Europe said:

"As the world's biggest manufacturer of tyres and rubber products, we are keenly aware of our responsibility to do everything possible to maximise safety. That includes working to acquaint customers with the basics of tyre safety and to inform them about the importance of routine tyre inspections."

"Our Bridgestone Tyre Safety Project, launched in Japan in 2003, is an initiative to enlist customers in the pursuit of tyre safety. Our collaboration with the FIA Foundation is a welcome opportunity to globalise that initiative."

David Ward, Director General of the FIA Foundation, said:

"If more drivers and car occupants followed the simple advice in our campaign - wearing a seat belt, using a child restraint, checking head rests and tyres thousands of unnecessary injuries and deaths could be prevented. This is the objective of Think Before You Drive".

RACC President, Sebastia Salvado, said:

"We can not accept that half of Spanish drivers do not yet use their seat belt. People must know how important it is that they cooperate to reduce road deaths. Governments can develop new policies to improve road safety, but the efforts of the different administrations and automobile clubs to reduce these appalling figures are worthless if there is a lack of respect toward the traffic rules from most of the drivers."

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Michael Schumacher , Rubens Barrichello
Teams Ferrari