The FIA has launched a new campaign urging children to ‘Stay Bright’ during the winter months through the correct use of reflective gear.
Launched at the FIA’s ‘Safe road to school’ conference on 22 September, Stay Bright focuses on walking and cycling to school.
The campaign is supported by a host of Formula One drivers including Britain’s Jenson Button (pictured below), Felipe Massa, Fernando Alonso, Valtteri Bottas, Romain Grosjean, Daniel Ricciardo, Nico Rosberg, Max Verstappen and Sebastian Vettel.
The FIA says child pedestrians and cyclists are among the most vulnerable road users, with more than 800 young people under the age of 15 years killed, and 100,000 injured, annually on European roads.
Stay Bright uses a comic, posters and a short animation to show children how to stay safe during the winter months.
The campaign was launched as part of the European Commission’s Mobility Week and will be rolled out across Europe the Middle East and Africa throughout winter 2016.
European countries where it will run include France, Italy, Portugal, Slovakia, Denmark, Latvia, Belgium, Czech Republic, Norway, Hungary, Slovenia, Bulgaria and the UK.
Jean Todt, FIA President, said: “Children are the most vulnerable road users. As pedestrians and cyclists they are particularly exposed.
“The Stay Bright campaign explains in a simple way how to stay safe on the road, especially at night and when weather conditions offer poor visibility.”
In the UK the campaign will be spearheaded by IAM RoadSmart who will use its local volunteer network to hand out reflective key rings and stickers to 2,500 school children.
Sarah Sillars, IAM RoadSmart chief executive officer, said: “We all remember walking to and from school in the dark. Young school children are likely to have other things on their own minds – not road safety.
“So it’s important for us grown-ups to make sure children are aware that as drivers, we can’t always see them – and they have to literally ‘stay bright’ to make sure they don’t become a victim.
“School years, for many of us, are our happiest and enabling our children to enjoy the freedom of the journey to and from school safely, is an important life lesson as well as something they’ll hopefully remember favourably.”
The FIA Foundation is a UK-based registered charity which supports an international programme of activities promoting road safety, the environment and sustainable mobility.