Rallying legend Sulayem hopes cartoon tv message can help make roads safer
24.07.2012: Record-breaking driver Mohammed Ben Sulayem – sending a TV cartoon warning about the dangers of speed to young Emiratis during Ramadan.
Record-breaking driver Mohammed Ben Sulayem – sending a TV cartoon warning about the dangers of speed to young Emiratis during Ramadan.
Record-breaking UAE driver uses TV programme to tell young Emiratis “Stay safe - don’t race on our roads”
Rallying legend Mohammed Ben Sulayem hopes his special cartoon TV message to young Emiratis during Ramadan will influence many to keep their passion for speed off the roads of the UAE, and save lives.
Sulayem, the Arab world’s most successful driver, is a character in a special episode of the popular Shaabiat Al Cartoon programme which is being broacast by Sama Dubai at 7.40pm each evening throughout the Holy Month.
The programme, sponsored by Etisalat, aims to increase awareness of the hazards of speeding on the highways and city streets of the Emirates, and record-breaking driver Sulayem hopes it will help steer young Emiratis towards a safer future.
The 14-times former FIA Middle East rally champion, who scored more than 60 international rally wins in his career before retiring from the sport in 2002, said: “You don’t win trophies for driving fast on public roads. You only risk your life, and those of others, and far too many young people perish this way.
“I only ever drove fast when I was competing. It doesn’t matter how good a driver you are, the only place for speed is in a properly controlled motor sport environment, well away from public traffic.”
In the special Ramadan episode of Shaabiat Al Cartoon, Sulayem’s character talks about the positive aspects of speed at the right time and place, and warns of the disastrous consequences of racing on public roads.
“Shaabiat Al Cartoon is a very effective way to send important messages to the youth in UAE and reduce the number of fatalities on our roads in a big way,” said Sulayem, President of the Automobile and Touring Club of the UAE, who has been at the forefront of efforts to promote safe driving habits in the UAE for many years.
“If they want to race, the UAE has some of the best motor racing facilities in the world. There are plenty of opportunities to train for racing, and to race competitively, especially at the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi and Dubai Autodrome.”
Sulayem powered his way to 14 Middle East championship titles and more than 60 international rally wins, but never raced on the roads.
Haidar Mohammed, Co-Founder and Chief Creative Officer of Fanar Production, producers of Shaabiat Al Cartoon, said: “The past few months have seen several young people losing their lives to speed-related accidents. We wanted to bring attention to this important issue through the Shaabiat series and are grateful to Mohammed for taking time to help us raise awareness about this issue through our animation series.
He has been a leading safe driving campaigner for many years, and his record-breaking achievements as a rally driver mean that his message to young Emiratis will carry a great deal of weight.”
Jaber Al Janahi, Etisalat’s Vice President - Corporate Communications, said: “We believe this will be a key episode within this year’s Shaabiat series since high-speed driving and its risks are relevant to all sections of the community. We believe such awareness initiatives will help in limiting this worrying trend and saving many precious lives.”
- Tony Lewis, Total Communications Dubai - also photos
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