The President of the FIA recently passed through Trinidad and Tobago in a whirlwind visit to some of the Caribbean and Central American countries that are affiliated to the FIA. On the morning of Wednesday 8th August 2012, he attended a conference with the Affiliate for Mobility, the Trinidad and Tobago Automobile Association. This was jointly hosted with the Minister of Transport and held at the Board Room of the Ministry of Transport, Tower D, Financial Towers, Wrightson Road, Port of Spain.
In attendance were the FIA delegation Team, The Hon. Minister of Transport, Mr. Chandresh Sharma and his Permanent Secretary, Board Members of the TTAA, The Presidents of the Trinidad and Tobago Rally Club, Trinidad and Tobago Karting Association, Creative Auto Recreation Club, and AutoSport Racing Association, Representative from the Ministry of Works, and the Management of TTASA.
Mr. John Powell and Mr. Sheldon Bissessar were specially invited to receive Awards for their outstanding performances in Rallying and Drag Racing respectively, and for making the commitment to be the first ambassadors to work with the Ministry of Transport, the FIA and the TTAA in supporting the local efforts of the Decade of Action for Road Safety.
After opening statements were made by the President of the FIA, Mr. Jean Todt, followed by the Hon. Chandresh Sharma, President of the TTAA Rawle Mahabir indicated the plans and efforts that will be pursued by the TTAA.
Members of the Federation International le Automobile (FIA) visiting T&T:
Mr. Jean Todt – FIA President
Mr. José Abed – FIA Sport Vicepresident
Mr. Nicholas Craw – FIA Senate President
Mr. Tim Shearman – FIA III Region President
Mr. Jorge Tomasi – FIA IV Region President
Mr. Enzo Spano – Venezuelan FIA ASN President
Mr. Henry Krausz – Dominican FIA ASN President
Ms. Andrea Oliver – Dominican FIA Mobiliy & Touring Club Vice President
Mr. Stanley – Guyana Club Delegate (tbc)
Mr. Jean Claude Lefevbre – FIA President Office
Statement made by TTAA President Rawle Mahabir at Conference on 8th August 2012 with FIA Delegation led by Mr. Jean Todt:
“Today, worldwide, Automobile Associations are all faced with challenges because of the Global downturn in economies, the end result we are all seeing a reduction in members.
What we all have to do to address these issues….
Providing better support in cases of emergency,
Expanding benefits to members – and this also available when members travel abroad.
With the clarion call for the worldwide support for the Decade of Action for Road Safety, initiatives of TTAA include but will not be limited to:
A serious effort to expose as many drivers to undergo Defensive Driving courses
Suggestions having been already forwarded to the relevant Legal Departments to ensure that when Infringements are committed that lead to Court Action, and if drivers are found guilty, the law will mandate that the guilty party take a DD Course.
Going after our younger drivers in Secondary and Tertiary Intuitions to expose them to the Defensive Driving Courses, so that we catch them at an early age before they develop bad driving habits.
Partnering with all stakeholders to come to grips with the challenges we all endure daily and jointly working to regain control of our roads.
We have noted the Golden Rules used and published as part of the FIA decade of Action for Road Safety, and just wondered…… there are ten, and like the ten commandments some of us follow, we should also make these our Ten Commandments for Road Safety. We do have some copies here today which we shall pass out to all of our invited guests.
As we say at times it is not necessary to reinvent the wheel, and I refer to one interesting program I saw in one of the FIA INMOTION publications…..
AA of Slovenia (AMZS) has been severely affected by the global economic downturn. They decided to take proactive measures to attract new members and retain old ones. even went off the beaten track to developed a program of “Fair Play”, a philosophy to merge Sport and Driving, inviting Champion Athletes and Media personalities to work together to improve Road Safety – they labeled this…….
“Fair Play in Sport and on Roads – a Formula for Winners”. Athletes should act as role models for others on the road, and of course this is also in their own interest as it increases their own safety
(Locally we saw one of our most promising you female boxers
Giselle Salandy’s tragic accident not too long ago, and Richard Thompson, and George Bovell – two of our athletes in London today also escaping serious injury in separate road accidents.)
This project was done in conjunction with the Olympic Committee with the AMZS safe-driving instructors taking the athletes through a practical course at the AMZS safe-driving Centre, where they would become familiar with safe driving practices.
We do not have a test track – as yet – but we do have the Defensive Driving Program that we can bring to these athletes as participants, and even work on having the support of our major communications suppliers like Digicel or bMobile as partners.
The athletes signed a declaration pledging to respect the ten basic principles to improve Road Safety.
These principles are:
Tolerance and mutual understanding between road-users
Respect for road rules
Road safety education in families, kindergartens and schools
Quick and effective punishment for serious traffic offences
Support for the aims and philosophy of Vision Zero
Use of seat belts and child-restraint systems
Use of safety helmets when riding motor cycles and bicycles
Use of reflective clothing and accessories by pedestrians and cyclists,
No excessive speed and aggressive driving and an alcohol, drugs and psychoactive substances mixed with driving.
WE intend to develop a similar program in the shortest possible timeframe.
At this time to kick start that program, we wish to make a Presentation of Plaques to two outstanding MotorSport personalities who will be working with the TTAA in its initiatives to promote, develop and expand this program in secondary and tertiary institutions.
If I may call on The Hon. Minister and The President to hand out these Awards…..
John Powell OUTSTANDING PERFORMER IN THE FIELD OF HIGH SPEED RALLYING IN THE CARIBBEAN, AND HAS RECENTLY JOINED THE NACAM SERIES AND IS ALREADY CREATING A FAVOURABLE IMPRESSION.
Sheldon Bissessar OUTSTANDING PERFORMER IN THE FIELD OF DRAG RACING, HAVING OUTGROWN THE COMPETITION IN THE CARIBBEAN, HE HAS NOW GONE OFF INTO THE HIGHLY COMPETITIVE NORTH AMERICAN DRAG RACING CIRCUIT AND IS NOW THE HOLDER OF SEVERAL WORLD RECORDS IN THE CLASSES HE PARTICIPATE IN.
Sporting Bodies that will work with the TTAA to develop and expand our initiative of having everyone in Motor Sport be an ambassador to spread the word of safe driving:
Trinidad and Tobago Rally Club – President Barry Mc Kenzie
Trinidad and Tobago Karting Association – President Rae Smith
Creative Auto Recreation Sports (CARS) – President Genevieve Singh
AutoSport Racing Association – President Roger Nottingham.