Jean Todt, President of the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA), the world governing body for motorsports, visited Jamaica to review motorsport advances in the island and also to evaluate possible synergies to promote road safety.
Accompanied by FIA Vice President Jorge Tomasi and FIA Sport Vice President for the Americas, Jose Abed, he attended a breakfast meeting hosted by the Jamaica Automobile Association (JAA) at the Jamaica Pegasus on Thursday, August 2, 2012. Also in attendance at the August 2 breakfast were executives of the local FIA affiliate club, the Jamaica Millennium Motoring Club (JMMC) and other local motorsports stakeholder organizations.
Duane Ellis, General Manager of the JAA, said the meeting was a clear indication of the continued commitment by stakeholders “to building communities in which citizens are safer on our roadways in Jamaica and the Caribbean.”
Citing the Global Status Report on Road Safety, by the World Health Organization, Mr. Ellis, said that more than 1.2 million people die each year on the world’s roads, and between 20 and 50 million suffer non-fatal injuries.
Damion Crawford, State Minister for Tourism and Entertainment, also addressed the motorsports stakeholders and said that motor sports holds tremendous potential as an element to diversify the tourism offerings of Jamaica.
Praising Collin Daley, who is the youngest driver in the F2000 series to break the track record on his first day of racing, Minister Crawford said, “Jamaicans are above average people, and we need to expose more of our people to the opportunities in activities such as motorized sports.”
“We excel in sports and many other areas and with increased opportunity and more inter-connectedness between the various aspects of sports and tourism, we can strengthen the overall package that Jamaica has to offer,” Minister Crawford continued.
The FIA delegation, which was a 2 day visit to the island, also met with road safety stakeholders at a luncheon at The University of the West Indies, which was held under the theme “Promoting a multi-sectoral response to Road safety”.
The FIA is a non-profit organization, headquartered in Paris, and brings together 227 national motoring and sporting organisations from 132 countries on five continents. As the governing body for motor sport worldwide, the FIA administers the rules and regulations for all international four-wheel motor sport including the FIA Formula One World Championship, FIA World Rally Championship and FIA World Touring Car Championship. The organisation also promotes tourism globally and invests heavily in road safety.