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European Youth Conference for Road Safety

10 July 2008, Brussels

The first European Road Safety Day was held on 27 April 2007 and its theme was dealing with "Young Drivers". During this event, the European Commission took the commitment to host a follow-up meeting dealing with the topic of young people safety on the roads.

The European Youth Conference for Road Safety on 10 July 2008 was addressed to young people, at least two per Member State, in order to give them the chance to set up a network of young people. They will work together to reduce the number of young people killed every year on the European roads. These young people have already been appointed and are involved in road safety activities in their country.

Vice-President Tajani told the 54 young participants in the European Youth Forum for Road Safety in Brussels on 10 July that he intended to present a new European Action Plan on Road Safety, covering the period 2011-2020, within a year. Reducing the current 25 deaths a day of young people on Europe's roads would be a priority. Vice-President Tajani and his guest, World Formula One champion Kimi Räikkönen, had a single main message for the Forum. In any car, anywhere, following the rules is the only way to be safe. There is one set of rules on the Grand Prix circuit, which the drivers obey, out of mutual respect and to stay alive. Europe's roads are not a racetrack. The rules are different. But the principle is the same. After the young people had an opportunity to put questions to Kimi Räikkönen, the Vice-President concluded: "Rules and respect save lives. Formula One drivers do not take the wheel drunk or drugged, they would be racing to their deaths. We must make young people understand that reckless driving on any road means speeding straight towards tragedy."