Russia Supports Global Road Safety Initiative

11 October 2014

More than a dash of colour will be added to the Formula 1 Grand Prix in Sochi by a display of 83 two-metre-high matryoshkas, all wearing seatbelts. The huge Russian dolls were created as part of the “Buckle Up!” project. This was an initiative of the General Department of Road Traffic Safety of the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Russian Association of Motor Insurers (RAMI), with information support provided by NGO Road Safety Russia. The matryoshkas have already been exhibited in Moscow’s Sokolniki Park and at the International Road Safety Congress in St. Petersburg.

 As well as symbolising the traditions and history of its own Russian region, each matryoshka also reminds people how important it is to wear a seatbelt. By having their photograph taken against the backdrop of the matryoshkas and then posting it on any social networking site (hashtag #Roadsafetyrussia), Grand Prix spectators and participants can join the call for people to observe passive safety rules at all times.

 “Motor sport is inextricably linked with road safety. It teaches people to protect themselves on the road,” said Victor Kiryanov, president of the Russian Automobile Federation. “FIA President Jean Todt is known for his concern for road safety issues, and we are proud that Formula 1 in Sochi is being held within the broader context of a road safety strategy and that it is supporting the global programme FIA Action for Road Safety.“


Seatbelts were introduced to Formula 1 in the 1960s, and since 1972 Formula 1 drivers have protected themselves with six-point seatbelts. Racing drivers know from experience how important it is to always wear a seatbelt, and not just in racing cars. “Seats belts really do save lives,” said president of NGO Road Safety Russia, Natalia Agre. “This is confirmed by crash tests and statistics. Every Formula 1 driver knows this, but, unfortunately, we cannot say the same for all other drivers. The objective of the “Buckle Up!” campaign was to make all drivers aware of this fact. We are very honoured and proud that the Matryoshka Parade will add to the fun and excitement in Sochi and also reinforce the message that it is essential to comply with car safety rules.”


“The “Buckle Up!” campaign was highly effective,” said Pavel Bunin, RAMI president. “The percentage of passengers who always wear a seatbelt has increased. We are delighted that the organisers of Formula 1 are supporting our initiative and that they are keen to draw attention to road safety. We are sure that the Matryoshka Parade will be of interest to the spectators and participants alike.”



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