Words and photos by Christopher Kho
The Automobile Association of the Philippines (AAP) held a press conference last January 5, 2011 to promote road safety with its distinguished guest Jean Todt, president of the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA). Globally, 1.3 million people are killed every year due to road accidents; 90% of which occur in developing countries. This means that more people lose their lives on the road than from malaria. In the Philippines, where the situation is not any better, the number of road fatalities reach up to 10,000 annually, making this road safety campaign timely.
“Driving a car is a big responsibility for you and for the people around you,” said Todt. With a population of over 90 million, he also pointed out that the lack of education, the lack of respect for the rules, poor car maintenance, and poor quality of road infrastructures are amongst the Philippines’ most important causes of road accidents. “And it’s not only about people who are driving their car, their bus, their motorbike or their bicycle. It’s about pedestrians, it’s about children who are going to school every morning and not knowing how they can cross the road,” he added.