Carlos Macaya 1943 – 2016
Carlos Macaya, who served as Chairman of the FIA Foundation between 2008-2011, has died at the age of 72.
A successful businessman, Mr Macaya was President of the Automobile Club of Costa Rica (ACCR), and served on the Foundation’s board from 2001 -2014. As a committed road safety advocate, he played a key role in supporting new seat belt legislation in Costa Rica in 2003-4 working alongside the country’s then transport minister Karla Gonzalez. He hosted a number of global road safety events in Costa Rica and encouraged the country’s then-President, Oscar Arias, to highlight the issue both domestically and internationally.
In 2007-8, as the FIA Foundation’s ‘Make Roads Safe’ campaign worked to secure support for a first ever global ministerial conference on road safety, the ACCR, under Carlos Macaya’s leadership, led a petition-signing campaign across Costa Rica which contributed more than 300,000 signatures to a one million name global petition which was delivered to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.
As Chairman of the FIA Foundation, in 2009, Mr Macaya played a key role supporting the establishment of the Latin New Car Assessment Programme (Latin-NCAP) and subsequently he was vocal in supporting its early development against tough opposition from vested interests in Latin America. The independent crash test programme is now established as a legal entity and playing a leading role in improving vehicle safety in the region.
Carlos Macaya served as a patron for the Ibero-American Federation of Road Traffic Victims and championed the cause of victims’ rights. Combining both a passionate interest in motor sport and classic cars with a great interest in sustainable mobility, he particularly supported efforts to introduce protected cycle-ways into Costa Rican cities. In May 2015 he hosted a major regional conference on children’s road safety, sharing a stage with the Vice-President of Costa Rica.
The FIA Foundation’s director, Saul Billingsley, said: “Carlos led his automobile club, the FIA Foundation and Latin NCAP with grace and distinction. He was committed to the cause of road safety, and worked hard to make it a priority in his country and across Latin America. His gentle good humour, utter lack of ego, wise advice and his consideration for others will be missed by all who knew him. The FIA Foundation has lost a founding father and a good friend.”