Safe and sustainable public transport must be the priority, says Jean Todt

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Middle East

Safe and sustainable public transport must be the priority, says Jean Todt

YANGON — Many developed countries have announced plans to ensure that fossil-fuel powered cars will be taken off the roads in the coming decades, but Jean Todt, the UN Special Envoy for Road Safety, stresses that, in developing countries, much more immediate concerns, such as access to public transport and reducing accidents, need to be addressed as a priority. Although he was known as “Mr Speed” during his career as a highly successful rally co-driver in the 1960s and 1970s, Jean Todt has turned his focus to reducing the huge annual death toll from road accidents, in his capacity as UN Special Envoy for Road Safety. Todt is well placed to comment on the coming transition to electric vehicles: as president of the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile, (FIA, the motorsports governing body), he was instrumental in setting up Formula E, a fully electric racing championship. Whilst he is a strong proponent of electric vehicles, Todt frequently advocates for the developing world, where any kind of car, whether electric or fossil-fuel powered, is out of the reach of many citizens, and where the vast majority of fatal road accidents occur. UN News spoke to Todt ahead of the United Nations Sustainable

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