The road safety campaign currently being run by QNB, Williams F1 and QSTP enjoyed further success recently with the news that the majority of the Qatar Academy pupils pledged to be safe road users. The pupils also successfully asked their parents to pledge to drive safely. The overall aim of the campaign is to raise awareness of the issue of road safety and to ask Qatar's road users to pledge to be safer drivers; specifically to wear their seat belts and not to speed on Qatar's roads.
Along with a media campaign run by QNB, Williams F1 team personnel conducted a number of talks at schools and universities. In October, the Williams F1 Head of Marketing, Dominic Reilly, visited the Qatar Academy to talk on the subject of road safety. He spoke to over 800 pupils about the dangers of not wearing their seat belts and asked them all to "buckle up" when they travel by car. He also suggested that they might become advocates of road safety by asking their parents and families to wear their seat belts as well. His visit to the school was followed up by an appearance in November by Sir Frank Williams, Founder and Team Principal of the legendary Williams F1 team. Sir Frank spoke with senior children about his own experience of a road traffic accident in 1986 in which he broke his neck. This left him confined to a wheel chair. He admits he was driving too fast but is grateful that at least he was wearing his seat belt as this probably saved his life.
Sir Frank commented "Williams F1 is committed to helping road safety programs around the world and the initiative we have run in Doha is just the start of how we want to contribute to solving this life threatening issue in Qatar. I am delighted that on the back of our campaign we have managed to convince 800 pupils that they should be safe road users and more importantly that they have also become advocates of road safety. The fact that they have encouraged their parents to sign up and pledge to drive safely is an outstanding achievement. It clearly demonstrates that raising awareness of this issue and helping educate youngsters can influence people’s behaviour on our roads. Congratulations to Qatar Academy for helping us with this initiative and also thanks to all the brave pupils who had the courage to ask their parents to be safer drivers. It is an excellent example of the powers of persuasion of young students!"