Basil Shaaban with students during the event
In line with its commitment towards social development, sustainable initiatives and road safety awareness, Shell has invited Formula 3 racer Basil Shaaban, the highest ranked Formula driver in the Middle East, to talk about road safety to UAE students. Shell has been organizing lectures in hospitals, schools and community events and launching media campaigns to emphasize the human side of road safety and increase awareness on the dangers of reckless driving, which causes up to 90 per cent of road accidents.
Shell is investing into programmes that encourage people to abide by traffic laws, obey speed limits, use seat belts and drive responsibly. It believes that the safety of youths is an integral part of its business in the UAE and wants to play a bigger role in changing the behavior of young drivers. The United Nations has declared 2011 to 2020 as a decade of road safety. The decade will hopefully see the prevention of 5 million traffic deaths, 5 million injuries and the loss of USD 3 trillion in related costs by 2020. The UAE is currently coordinating with the UN a road safety alliance; Shell intends to align its national road safety campaigns with this broader initiative.
Basil Shaaban – a UN World Youth Ambassador for Road Safety and the Lebanese-born and Abu Dhabi – raised race – has been partnering with Shell to hone his racing skills and be the ideal person to inspire young Emiratis to drive safely and responsibly, as he is also an Ambassador to the UAE’s ‘Salama’ national road safety initiative. He has personally spoken with more than 10,000 youths in eight Middle Eastern countries to help reduce the region’s high road fatality rates.
“Our vision is to cultivate a new driving lifestyle in the UAE that complements our broader goals of improving the quality of life and protecting the environment. Through the help of role models such as Basil Shaaban we can more effectively encourage road safety among youths and throughout society. We believe in the importance of closely collaborating with schools and other kinds of institutions to address road safety and other key social issues,” said Omar Al Qurashi, Director of Communications, Shell in Dubai.
Shaaban joined Shell during his Dubai visit on May 2011 and jointly discussed road safety with students between 14 and 18 years of age and outlined Shell’s sustainability program in an international video conference. He was also attended a Shell-sponsored Road Safety Engagement in Abu Dhabi’s Ferrari World accompanied by students and teachers and guests.
The development of social partnerships and the integration of sustainability concepts into the entire series of objectives and programs in the company have encouraged Shell to support various road safety initiatives.