Motorcycle helmet safety launch to address quarter of Mexico road deaths

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F1 star Sergio 'Checo' Pérez talking about the importance of motorcycle helmets.
F1 star Sergio 'Checo' Pérez talking about the importance of motorcycle helmets.
The first Mexican motorcycle coalition meeting.
The first Mexican motorcycle coalition meeting.
FIA Foundation Programmes Manager Agnieszka Krasnolucka discussing helmet safety.
FIA Foundation Programmes Manager Agnieszka Krasnolucka discussing helmet safety.

A special event, including F1 star Sergio 'Checo' Pérez, was held in Mexico City to promote motorcycle helmet safety awareness, build local support, and encourage helmet standards as part of the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile’s Safe & Affordable Helmet Programme with the support of the FIA Foundation as well as Instituto de Políticas para el Transporte y el Desarrollo (ITDP), the Keep Fighting Foundation, and ANA Automóvil Club A. C.

Increasing motorcycle use in the Americas has resulted in a significant increase in motorcyclist fatalities and injuries. This trend is particularly pronounced in Mexico, where motorcyclists represented just 6% of road fatalities in 2000 but today make up a quarter of all road deaths. Research shows that a motorcycle helmet can reduce the risk of death by 42% and risk of head injury by 69% in a crash.

The Safe and Affordable Helmet Programme has overseen the creation of an innovative new high-quality motorcycle helmet that meets UN safety standard 22.05, is comfortable in hot and humid climates, and available at a target selling price of around 20 USD. The FIA Foundation is supporting the new global programme with an initial €1.3 million budget.

To promote long-lasting motorcycle safety improvements and influence safety policies, the FIA and FIA Foundation is creating a Helmet Coalition in Mexico, bringing together stakeholders from the government, civil society and the private sector. The Coalition, led by ITDP, will develop an 18-month action plan to improve helmet safety in Mexico, in line with one of the recommendations included in the World Health Organisation (WHO) Global Plan of the Decade of Action for Road Safety.

FIA Foundation Executive Director Saul Billingsley said: “The motorcycle is an increasingly popular mode of low-cost transport in Latin America, but without access to helmets which are safe as well as affordable, lives are unnecessarily at risk, particularly from head injuries. Establishing a Mexican national helmet wearing coalition, with the collaborative support of long-term partners ITDP Mexico and ANA, will help to address the need for greater awareness of motorcycle safety, and lay the groundwork for the cross-sectoral cooperation to ensure safe journeys for all.”

Attendees included: FIA President Jean Todt; FIA Vice President for Sport and OMDAI, NACAM and FIA Americas President José Abed R.; ANA Automóvil Club A. C. President Julián José Abed Jiménez; ANA Seguros General Director Raúl Barba; Mexico City Road Safety and Information Monitoring Director Valentina Delgado Sánchez; Uber Eats Latin America General Director Eduardo Donnelly; FIA Foundation Programmes Manager Agnieszka Krasnolucka; Chairman of the Board of Grupo Carso Carlos Slim; Mexican Red Cross President Fernando Suinaga Cárdenas; Automóvil Club del Uruguay President Jorge Tomasi-Crisci; Secretaría de Movilidad y Planeación Urbana (SEMOVI) representatives Fernanda Rivera, Valentina Delgado, and Andres Lajous; Nicolas Rosales, AMTM; and Areli Carreón from Coalicion Movilidad Segura, among others.

FIA President Jean Todt, who also serves as United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Road Safety, said: “Wearing a helmet is key to protect the lives of two-wheeled riders. The FIA Safe & Affordable Helmet Programme is part of the consolidated action of our Federation to make a profound impact on the global road safety challenge. I salute the authorities of Mexico for their participation and I would like to sincerely thank our Member Club ANA for organising this event, as well as the FIA Foundation and the Keep Fighting Foundation for their active support. I urge other governments and the private sector to join those who have already committed to this promising initiative.”