Bahamas, May 9, 2017 – Nassau – In the time it took you to read the headline of this story, a child somewhere in the world was hit and killed by a car on her way to school.
“The statistics are alarming,” says David McLaughlin, FIA Project Development Director for the Caribbean. “Speed kills. Somewhere in the world a child dies every 30 seconds as a result of a road crash. Road accidents are the 10th leading cause of death worldwide and the 13th leading cause of death in The Bahamas. Every year, 1.25 million people die as a result of accidents.”
To put the brakes on the tragic numbers that take more than a million innocent lives a year and leave millions more injured, many severely and for life, the United Nations launched the Save Lives Slow Down movement.
This is the fourth year that the FIA, the world governing body of motor sport and sanctioned by the International Olympics Committee (IOC), has driven the UN global campaign, but the first time The Bahamas has taken part.
“Given that the UN Global Road Safety Week is May 8-14 and there is a lot of other activity at this time, we are focusing efforts on spreading the message about the dangers of speeding and distracted driving. We will also host an event at the Mall at Marathon this Saturday, May 13,” said McLaughlin, a former race driver himself and the chairman of Bahamas Motor Speedway.
Students who came through the popular EduKarting program will be on hand at the Mall with a go-kart.
“The idea is for kids to write in a few words why they believe it is important to slow down. We will provide the paper and once they have penned their words, they will have the opportunity to be pictured in the kart holding their small sign, take a selfie and share it on social media. The words could be something like, ‘I slow down because all lives matter.’ We really want to encourage people to take the on-line road safety pledge which only take a few seconds and to get involved.”
Participants will also be able to sign up for this summer’s EduKarting program and can find more information on the program on its Facebook page.
McLaughlin will also be a guest on Guardian Talk Radio Friday at 9 am and will address the Rotary Club of East Nassau at its luncheon meeting May 12. Among the guests expected to be on hand between 11 am and noon at the Mall is Wellington Miller, President of the Bahamas Olympic Committee.
Sponsors of the Save Lives, Slow Down road safety program include JS Johnson, Oasis Furniture, Phillips Sailmakers & Awning Manufacturers, Aquapure, Rotary Club of East Nassau, Valvoline, Battery & Tyre, Bahamas Waste and Custom Computers.