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Expert attacks FIA's road safety policy

NEWS STORY
10/09/2007

Leading road safety expert, Ian Roberts from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, has attacked the FIA Foundation and the car industry following the creation of a Commission for Global Road Safety, claiming that it is the equivalent of asking a fox to look after chickens.

The commission was set in 2006 as a charitable foundation by the FIAin order to encourage the G8 countries and international donors to invest more in road safety.

Though it has admittedly raised the profile of road safety, mainly due to Formula One's ability to influence big names and leading political figures, Roberts claims that it is geared - no pun intended - towards motorists, ignoring pedestrians and cyclists. He also claims that its policies will harm the environment.

"Working through the commission, the FIA and the car lobby have manoeuvred themselves into a leading role in global road safety," says Roberts, in an article published by the Royal Society of Medicine.

"They aim to set the policy agenda for road safety which would give them considerable influence in global transport policy. They do not intend to fund road safety efforts themselves but will dictate how other organisations spend their money and in particular how development money is spent."

Members of the commission, whose patron is Prince Michael of Kent, a keen racing fan, include a director of General Motors, a board member of the Bridgestone Corporation, the president of the Russian Automobile Association and Michael Schumacher.

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