Slow down to live better, introducing the #slowdownchallenge

According to the UN Road Safety Fund, the quality of life at global level improves through greener mobility and reduced urban speeds

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On the occasion of the International Transport Forum held in Leipzig, the United Nations Road Safety Fund presented its Annual Report 2021,“Making an impact: safer roads, improved lives”. As the title points out, during these 12 months the Fund was engaged in the implementation of road interventions in low- and middle-income countries which could bring about significant improvements in the quality of life of their inhabitants. The document stresses that greener, cleaner and safer mobility contributes to an effective increase in the well-being of the communities involved.

Established in 2018, the Road Safety Fund operates through a network of global partnerships, involving institutional and private stakeholders. Members include specialised agencies of the United Nations, European institutions and industrial groups, including Pirelli, in a dual role as both partner and financier. 

The activities promoted and supported by the fund are part of the UN Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development, taking into account two of the thirty specific objectives. The first one aims to halve road deaths within the reference year, while the second focuses on road improvement through intensive access to and use of alternative mobility. 

In 2021, the Fund financed 25 projects in 30 different countries including Africa, Latin America and the Middle East, by investing in road safety systems that ensure that people can get around in safe and secure spaces and cities: this demand on the part of citizens appears to be increasingly urgent, complicated further by the pandemic experience.

The Pirelli group has long shown interest in the issues addressed by the initiative, and the company's contribution to the Fund bears witness to this desire. "Pirelli has always prioritised and continues to prioritise, safety and sustainability in all aspects of its operations. Through its membership of the United Nations Road Safety Fund, a global partnership between governments and other companies, the brand's commitment can go further, generating a lasting impact on the international agenda for safe and sustainable mobility in developing countries," stated Marco Tronchetti Provera, CEO and executive vice-chairman of Pirelli. 

In 2021, as the Report mentions, Pirelli also took part in the communication and awareness raising campaign, summarised by hashtag #slowdownchallenge, organised by the Fund as part of the United Nations' sixth Road Safety Week.

Driving speed is in fact one of the causes of the majority of road accidents, which would be reduced by 30% if the latter were reduced by just five percentage points as recalled in a promotional video by Filippo Bettini, Sustainability and Future Mobility Officer of Pirelli and member of the UNRSF Advisory Board.

The development of innovative, highly technological products allows the brand to make a concrete improvement in road safety, interpreting the Fund's vision in the best possible way: from Cyber Tyre sensors capable of providing the driver with real-time information on the condition of the tyres to Seal Inside tyres which allow to continue driving even in the event of small punctures, and Run Flat ones, designed to maintain vehicle stability in conditions of sudden loss of pressure.

The challenge was to cover as many miles as possible, either by cycling, walking or swimming. And Pirelli employees were awarded first place for clocking up a total of 2157 kilometres overall. 

A significant engagement, also highlighted by Matthew Baldwin, deputy Director-General in the European Commission's Mobility and Transport Directorate-General, who stresses that achieving safer mobility in cities depends not only on the efforts of individuals but also on those of companies.