Motorsport can play key role in reducing accidents on UAE's roads - Sulayem

Motorsport can play key role in reducing accidents on UAE's roads - Sulayem

25.03.2013: Photo caption: Dr. Mohammed Ben Sulayem with competitors of all ages at the UAE Rotax Max




Photo caption: Dr. Mohammed Ben Sulayem with competitors of all ages at the UAE Rotax Max Challenge last weekend at the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi.




Keep speeding on the race tracks and off the highways, ATCUAE President says on sidelines of UAE Rotax Max Challenge



Dr. Mohammed Ben Sulayem, President of the Automobile and Touring Club of the UAE (ATCUAE) has said that UAE motorsport can play a pivotal role reducing accidents on the country’s roads.


According to the Ministry of Interior, there were 6,454 serious accidents on the UAE’s roads in 2012, resulting in 7,586 injuries and 628 fatalities. While these figures are an improvement on 2011, Sulayem said that more can be done, with many of the accidents involving younger males, who are more reckless and drive too often with wanton abandon.


“We have a serious problem in the UAE and in the wider Middle East region, as too many of our young people are being killed and injured on our roads each year”, said Sulayem, a former rally driver who has a record 14 Middle East Rally Championship titles.


 “Statistics often show that the biggest concern is young men, who drive too fast and take too many unnecessary risks, and I believe that motorsport can play a big part in reducing these figures. Speaking from personal experience, I am always thankful that when I was younger I found an outlet for my own desire to drive fast in rally driving, or else I too could have been just another sad statistic.”


Sulayem was speaking during last weekend’s UAE Rotax Max Challenge event, the national karting championship, which was taking place on a specially designed section of Yas Marina Circuit for the first time.


Added Sulayem: “Motorsport events such as the UAE Rotax Max Challenge are key, because they give younger males an outlet to race in a controlled and safe environment, as opposed to speeding on public roads. It makes perfect sense that if these youngsters choose to race here, their ‘need for speed’ will be less on the highways.”


Back to back rounds of the UAE Rotax Max Challenge were held at the Abu Dhabi Formula One facility, making it the fourth circuit to feature in the 2012-13 season, after Dubai Kartdrome, Al Forsan Sports Club, and Al Ain Raceway, the championship’s organisers.


As well as being President of the ATCUAE, Dr Ben Sulayem is the Vice-President of the FIA, and was quick to praise the work done by the organisation through its “Action for Road Safety” campaign.


“The FIA are big supporters of the UN Decade of Action for Road Safety, which was launched in 2011 with the aim of reducing global fatalities from road accidents by five million by 2020.”


“The organisation has worked hard to encourage young people to take the racing from the streets to the circuits, and we in the UAE are incredibly fortunate to have such excellent facilities available for motorsport.”


“When I hear stories about how much some young people are spending each year on speeding fines alone, all I can think is what a waste that is, as the same amount of money could often pay for a season of racing at any one of the top racing circuits we have in the UAE.”


The 2012-13 UAE Rotax Max Challenge season concludes with back to back rounds taking place at Al Ain Raceway over the weekend of the 12th and 13th April 2013.




- Tony Lewis, Total Communications Dubai - also photo

Permanent-URL: http://www.automobilsport.com/motorsport-key-role-reducing-accident-uae-roads-mohammed-ben-sulayem---109138.html

25.03.2013 / MaP

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