Nico Rosberg, Pharrell Williams and Rafael Nadal are among the celebrities and sports stars who feature in a new campaign launched recently by the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) and the advertising giant JCDecaux.
The #3500LIVES campaign is described by the FIA as the ‘first worldwide outdoor road safety advertising campaign’. The campaign highlights the number of people who die each day in ‘preventable road traffic crashes’ across the globe, and calls for political commitment to create safer infrastructure and vehicles.
The 13 celebrities who appear in the campaign deliver messages on drink driving, speed, distracted driving and the importance of wearing seat belts and motorcycle helmets.
The launch event included video messages in support of the campaign from His Holiness Pope Francis and Thomas Bach, president of the International Olympic Committee.
The FIA says the campaign ‘unites a roster of major celebrities from sports and arts with political and religious leaders in a call for political commitment and a properly resourced UN Fund for Road Safety’.
Translated in 30 languages, the campaign is live in 30 cities worldwide, including London, and will be rolled out in more than 70 countries by the end of 2017. In the launch phase, JCDecaux estimates that the campaign will be seen 1bn times.
The campaign also features Anne Hidalgo, mayor of Paris, who said: “There is no excuse for inaction because we know how to make our roads safer.
“We need better infrastructure, safer vehicles and better drivers. I call for road safety to become a top priority of political agendas.”
Lord Robertson of Port Ellen, chair of the FIA Foundation, said: “We have worked hard and successfully to include road safety as an international policy priority in the Sustainable Development Goals.
“But now there is an urgent need to build widespread political support and public awareness if we are to turn these ambitions into real action.
“This #3500LIVES campaign is a vital step forward, raising the visibility of this issue and engaging the public in the call for government action and funding to build safe systems and implement life-saving legislation.”
There is also a strong emphasis on personal responsibility, with members of the public encouraged to visit the campaign website and ‘Sign Up, Stay Safe, Save Lives’.
Jean Todt, FIA president, said: “I encourage everyone to promote and share the campaign’s key messages and sign our manifesto for government action. Too many people lose their life unnecessarily in road crashes daily.”
FOOTNOTE: The full list of #3500LIVES ambassadors is: Fernando Alonso, Yohan Blake, Haile Gebreselassie, Antoine Griezmann, Anne Hidalgo, Vanessa Low, Marc Marquez, Felipe Massa, Rafael Nadal, Nico Rosberg, Wayde van Niekerk, Michelle Yeoh and Pharrell Williams.