During a conference preceeding our General Meeting last September in Barcelona we prepared a Manifesto about correct behaviour by journalists and media towards Road Crash Victims and Road Safety topics:
The aim of this conference was to increase the interest and knowledge of mass media for road safety and road traffic victims, consider their role to raise awareness of the whole society about this serious public health problem posed by road crashes.
Can the media help to improve society, to raise awareness about aspects that should concern us all?
Is everything worth to sell the news? What impact does it has on victims and relatives depending on how they tell the news?
Inspired by the guide for journalists that the WHO published in 2017, we present the joint FEVR-P(A)T manifesto of good practices for journalists.
The media should be encouraged to promote a new road safety culture.
Yolanda Domenech, PAT A PAT director and FEVR board member who drafted the Manifesto said : “We all should consider road violence as a social problem as other types of violence, in other to raise awareness of the big carnage that road crashes means for society”
♦ Media should provide full and accurate information and advice regularly and frequently about road crashes and victims and should influence responsible driving.
♦ The public should become aware of the full extent of the consequences and suffering after a road traffic crash – not to forget seriously injured victims – as well as of the consequences for the offenders.
♦ The media should inform of the costs to society of road casualties and the impact on victims’ families and friends.
♦ Media should be encouraged to participate to lifelong road safety education including information on the law and penalties for law breaking.
♦ Advertisers should be encouraged to take part in road safety campaigns and not promote speeding and power of cars and warn of dangerous and possible consequences for vulnerable users.
♦ In social media everybody should respect privacy and not publish pictures from the crash scene.
♦ One should always use the wording ‘crash’ or ‘collision’ instead of accident, because a road crash is not a fatality… .
Jeannot Mersch, FEVR President: “We often hear from families that they are not happy how the media report on their case, some Journalist are sensation seeking and abuse the victims trust ”