Two thousand two hundred delegates from one hundred and ten countries met in Brazil 18-19 November for the second conference of the UN Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020. Seventy senior ministers from governments around the world joined with the President of Brazil Dilma Rousseff, Zoleka Mandela (granddaughter of the late President Nelson Mandela of South Africa) and others for the opening ceremony.
The FIM attended the conference as a member of the UN Road Safety Collaboration and as a recognised non-governmental association working with the UN institutions on road safety for motorcyclists since 1988.
On the 17 November the conference was preceded by a practical demonstration of technology for car and motorcycle safety organisation by the Global New Car Assessment Programme.
German automotive supplier Continental showcased a prototype example of how to fit ABS (anti-lock braking) to a small motorcycle using a Honda 150cc single. Engineer Gustavo Breda from Continental Automotive in Brazil explained:
“This is a basic model that is very popular in Brazil,-in fact it is the top seller in the 150cc category. It is robust, and has been equipped with a disc front brake and a drum to the rear. We can demonstrate that with single channel Continental ABS to the front, but of course no ABS to the rear as that is a drum brake, we can still achieve fantastic results with dramatically improved braking safety.”
Opening this new campaign on car and bike technology for safety HRH Prince Michael from the UK said the new name “Stop the Crash!” was the right choice. “It is better to prevent a crash in the first place, and many can be prevented using technology.” – Prince Michael is a lifelong motoring and motorcycling enthusiast.
WATCH THE VIDEO HERE
Dedicated Session on Motorcycling
Once the conference got started there were two sessions devoted to motorcycling. The recently published International Transport Forum report on motorcycling was presented. (It had its debut in Europe the week before at the annual FIM dinner debate in the European Parliament in Brussels).
Hilda Gomez from the Latin American Development Bank spoke of the importance for decision makers to speak to motorcyclists. “There are totally different needs; you have to assess measures that will help commuters, those who use motorcycles as part of their work, and those who ride larger machines often for leisure.”
The conference concluded with publication of the Brasilia Declaration committing governments to more action to improve road safety – for all road users including motorcyclists. This will now go forward to the General Assembly of the UN in New York for further debate and ratification.