Seat Belt: The belt that “binds” us with life
Seat Belt: The belt that “binds” us with life

Seat Belt: The belt that “binds” us with life
Press Conference
On the new information and awareness campaign by RSI “Panos Mylonas”
in collaboration with Safer Roads Foundation (SRF)
and the European Transport Safety Council (ETSC)
under the auspices of the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport
Road Safety Institute (RSI) “Panos Mylonas” in collaboration with the Safer Roads Foundation (SRF) and the European Transport Safety Council (ETSC), in the context of promoting social messages and informing the public on road safety, presented today, Thursday 29 November 2018, the new awareness campaign on the necessity to use the seat belt, both on the front and rear seats of the vehicles.

Press Conference on the new campaign, which is under the auspices of the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport, was held in the Amphitheater of the Ministry, in Athens, Greece, and it was attended by the Minister, Mr. Christos Spirtzis.

The Hellenic Parliament was represented by Mrs. Efi Georgopoulou - Saltari, Member of the Parliament and Member of the Special Standing Committee of the Parliament on Road Safety.
On behalf of RSI, the Chairman of the Board, Mrs. Vassliki Danelli-Mylonas, spoke on the evidence of the disappointing results of passengers not buckling up on the front seats as well as on the rear seats of vehicles, which is the main focus of the campaign. The message "Always use a seat belt AND in the rear seats. Protect the person sitting in front of you "is particularly important as in Greece, further to observations, even nowadays most of the passengers in the rear seats do not use a seat belt because they are unaware of the dangers of this misconduct. Mrs. Mylonas presented the new campaign which focusses on visual material with the creation of two television spots (one for the use of a safety belt in general and one for the use of seat belts specifically in the rear seats) and a radio spot with similar material. Further to the decision of the Greek National Council for Radio and Television, campaign videos will be shown by all TV channels as social messages throughout the holiday season from 10-12-2018 to 10-1-2019.

In his institutional address, the Minister referred to the actions of the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport over the past 3.5 years for the change of the Ministry's framework regarding the existing situation in road safety. He focused on the three-pillar plan, infrastructure for areas where there are still problems, actions on road behavior and the institutional framework on issues such as education and the cultivation of road traffic education for all road users, the new Law Plan on how to obtain driving licenses, as well as the field of combined transport and transition to safe means of transport. He also praised the overall work of RSI “Panos Mylonas”, as well as the specific campaign of the use of the seat belt.

After having thanked RSI for the invitation, M.P. Mrs. Efi Georgopoulou, conveyed the greeting of the President of the Hellenic Parliament and pointed out the Special Standing Committee’s target on prevention in which we ought to invest in order to avoid traffic incidents. She also referred to the social sensitivity of the President of the Hellenic Parliament for this crucial issue, as well as the work performed by the Committee on road safety issues in Greece.

Traffic Police Director, Mr. Spyridon Laskos, stressed the fruitful collaboration with RSI “Panos Mylonas”, as well as the good cooperation with the Ministry of Transport in designing the changes to the Road Traffic Code with positive results in the reduction of fatal traffic incidents.
Ms. Priscilla Le Lièvre, Representative of ETSC, referred to the long-term cooperation of the European Transport Safety Council with RSI, through different and targeted actions and initiatives, which, consistently and continuously, aim at eliminating road incidents on the roads of Europe.

Mrs. Anunciacion Somavilla, Representative of SRF, stressed the necessity of this campaign so as to convince as many road users as possible and to save as many lives as possible on the roads. She also presented how the SRF's cooperation with RSI began some years ago, during an event organized by the Swedish Government, where both Organisations were awarded with distinctions, and how this collaboration has continued over time with common and agonizing efforts to improve road safety. In addition, Mrs. Somavilla pointed out how important it is that Non-Profit Organizations with limited resources and important work, such as RSI “Panos Mylonas”, receive funding and support by the State in order to be sustainable.

RSI’s Vice-President, Professor Vassilis Anastassopoulos, Director of the Patras’ Science Park, and RSI’s Educator, Engineer Mr. George Karameris, focused on the forces involved in a traffic incident among passengers, the main causes that contribute to human lives’ losses when passengers do not buckle up, as well as the need for informing and educating all road users, especially children and young people –issues that RSI promotes through its educational programs.

During the Press Conference, visual material from previous campaigns of RSI about the use seat belt and its benefits was also presented. In addition, participants watched a video showing the invention of the three-point seat belt as developed in its modern form by the Swedish inventor Nils Bohlin for the Volvo car industry in 1959 as the basic equipment of the vehicle, as well as its evolution over time.

The Press Conference ended with questions from the journalists about what actions the state does to enforce seat belt usage by professional drivers and whether seat belt usage should be enforced on everyone, at all passengers of the vehicle, as is the case of other countries with a higher level of road safety.

The event was attended by Members of the Greek Police and Traffic Police, the Hellenic Army General Staff, Representatives of Organizations and Authorities, Representatives of the private sector and the Press, as well as specialists in the field of Road Safety.
The aim of this initiative of RSI "Panos Mylonas" is to spread the important message on the vital importance of using the seat belt at all seats of the vehicle and to make a substantial contribution to preventing the tragic life losses on the roads.
Special thanks to High Power Company for providing technical support for the successful implementation of the Press Conference.

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