I don’t know much about an organisation called FEVR. What I do know (from looking it up) is that it is a French acronym for the European Federation of Road Traffic Victims. This organisation is an international NGO that provides assistance to road traffic victims and their relatives and supports organisations in many countries to achieve this aim. It is presided over by a lady called Brigitte Chaudhry, who 25 years ago established a charity called Roadpeace and later came up with the idea of organising the World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims. Her efforts in this sector have been recognised with the award of an MBE in Britain.
The other thing I know, thanks to an extraordinary press release, is that her organisation is none too impressed by UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon’s decision to appoint Jean Todt as his special envoy for road safety.
“We don’t consider the FIA president, who certainly does a good job in his domain of the racing industry, as the right personality to be a credible advocate for all road users, particularly where the most vulnerable are concerned, pedestrians, cyclists and people with disabilities,” FEVR wrote.
This shows three things: that FEVR is not up to speed on views about the FIA in F1 circles; that the FIA is seen largely as a racing organisation (as I mentioned yesterday) and that feelings must be running very high if such an organisation is issuing press releases on this matter.
“EVR was shocked to learn at the end of last week that UN General Secretary has nominated Mr. Jean Todt, president of the FIA International Automobile Federation – as special UN Envoy for Road Safety,” the organisation said. “We believe a wrong signal is being sent to the world, especially NGOs working for safer roads and justice for road crash victims, which will be detrimental to tackling ‘the global road safety’. We were extremely disappointed to hear the news. FEVR has now been left with no alternative, but to formally dissociate itself from this appointment.
“FEVR is not against cars, we also have to use them sometimes. We are also not against racing in closed circuits. We are further very much in favour of ensuring that the safety features, which are so effective in cars sold in Europe, are extended to all cars sold in developing countries. But we are against this appointment.”
The organisation said it was shocked and saddened by the appointment of a motor sport representative to the position of UN Road Safety Envoy, especially as this was done without consultation with relevant NGOs and stakeholders, following initial denials of such an appointment.”
Wow… Strong stuff.