The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), FIBA Europe and FIBA launch today an information campaign on road safety at EuroBasket 2011, which will be held in Lithuania from 31 August to 18 September.
The campaign, running under the motto “We play and drive by the rules”, builds up on the success of a similar campaign launched last year during the FIBA Basketball World Championship 2010 held in Turkey.
Every year some 1.3 million people die as a result of road traffic crashes worldwide – amounting to more than 3,500 deaths each day. More than half of the casualties are pedestrians, cyclists or other road users not traveling in a car. Road traffic injuries are the leading cause of death for children and young people aged between 5 and 29. In addition, on average 20 to 50 million people sustain non-fatal injuries from road traffic crashes each year. These injuries are a significant cause of disabilities worldwide.
The campaign aims to inform people around the world about the simple rules that save lives on the road. Its objective is to encourage respect for the rules, on the road as well as on the court.
The campaign is organized by UNECE, FIBA Europe and the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) with the support of the Lithuanian Basketball Federation (LBF), which will host the championship, the Spanish Basketball Federation (FEB) and the Ministry of Transport and Communications of Lithuania (MoTC).
The “We play and drive by the rules” campaign will include video clips with José Calderón, World champion with the Spanish national team, and Jonas Valanciunas, member of Lithuania's national team. These will be broadcast in the arenas where the games will be played and on the television channels broadcasting the games.
A Declaration for road safety, signed by officials of UNECE, FIBA Europe, FIBA, LBF and MoTC, will be displayed in the arenas to invite the players and teams engaged in EuroBasket 2011 to join the campaign. A “We play and drive by the rules” banner will be displayed on the court during the two semifinal games.
Ján Kubiš, UNECE Executive Secretary, said: "Improving road safety worldwide is vital for society and a top priority for the United Nations, which declared 2011-2020 the United Nations Decade of Action for Road Safety. In this framework I am very happy to continue and strengthen our cooperation with FIBA and FIBA Europe, which was initiated at EuroBasket 2009. Together, the United Nations and the Basketball families, with their partners, can reach out to more people around the world to put an end to this tragedy."
Patrick Baumann, FIBA Secretary General and member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) said: "I think that everyone at one moment in time has lost a loved one to a road accident and this is a needless, shocking and tragic loss of life that must be tackled. The basketball family has already lost a lot of its members on the road – famous stars like Drazen Petrovic of Croatia and Fernando Martin of Spain as well as amateur players who spend a lot of time in cars and buses getting to games with their teams every week. FIBA is not just about basketball. Basketball is our core activity but we also have a social responsibility. We have a responsibility to educate the youth. I invite everybody to join us to play and drive by the rules."
UNECE - Jean Rodriguez
Head, Public Information Unit
Tel.: +41 (0) 22 917 27 27
FIBA - Patrick Koller
Head of Communications
Tel.:+41 (0)22 545 00 00