Australia has become the latest country to begin work on a worldwide project to cut road deaths and injuries with the launch of a new online road safety game at the Coates Hire Ipswich 300 last week.
In May of this year, the FIA launched Action for Road Safety in response to the challenge raised by the United Nations (UN) Decade of Action on Road Safety which aims to save five million lives on roads around the planet over the next ten years. The FIA has tasked its member clubs from both the sporting and mobility wings of the Federation to carry out ambitious projects to educate, train and raise awareness of road safety issues as part of its commitment.
Three months on V8 Supercars Australia, the Confederation of Australian Motor Sport (CAMS) and the Royal Automobile Club of Queensland (RACQ) have leant their full support to the FIA's campaign, joining forces in a united effort to help tackle road deaths and countless injuries through a new Facebook game called V8 Supercars Heroes Challenge.
Formally launched at the eighth round of the V8 Supercar Championship Series, the Ipswich 300 (19-21 August), the innovative and interactive game harnesses the popularity of the V8 Supercars and promotes road safety by raising awareness of the basic checks that a V8 team performs before a track session- checks that are equally useful for a road car.
Prominently displaying the FIA's Action for Road Safety logo, the Facebook game challenges players to select their team – Ford or Holden – and then perform a series of car-related safety tasks as fast as possible. The leader board tracks who is achieving the best times, including a Holden versus Ford summary for ultimate bragging rights.
V8 Supercars ambassadors, Garth Tander of Toll Holden Racing and Ford driver Shane Van Gisbergen of SP Tools Racing, have thrown their full support behind the campaign:
“It's a fantastic initiative,” said Tander. “Young drivers need to realise it's a dangerous place out on the road, so if we can do a small thing and save one life it's a big deal and hopefully we can save many more.
“People go to the race track and watch the V8 Supercars and think they can drive home really fast like we do on the track, but they don't have the same regulations or safety equipment. The cars aren't built the same as the race cars, so you need to be much more vigilant, much more alert. Hopefully we can broaden everyone's horizons and help people understand that,” he continued.
“Most accidents happen in my age demographic,” added van Gisbergen. “So anything I can do to help and get the message across I'll do my best for that and hopefully we'll see some improvements in the numbers.”
Players can also invite their Facebook friends to challenge their time and be in the running to win a range of prizes. Head to http://www.facebook.com/V8SCHeroesChallengeGame to test your skills.
CAMS and RACQ are also actively encouraging their members to help spread the road safety message by raising awareness in Australia's state governments, communities, schools and workplaces by pledging a personal commitment to be safe on the roads.