The VIA Program: raising road safety awareness among 200,000 young people
In May 2018, TotalEnergies and Michelin, both major international mobility players, launched the VIA program through their respective corporate foundations, with support from the Global Road Safety Partnership and Tyme-Education. The aim was to raise road safety awareness among young people aged 10-25 and educate them in safer road behavior through interactive learning methods deployed in schools. By building on the presence of TotalEnergies and Michelin affiliates worldwide, the program is now up and running on an international scale, and its deployment is fast gaining ground.
Road accidents are the leading cause of death among young people aged 5-29 worldwide, i.e. over 500 young people every day. It is therefore crucial to take action for safer mobility. VIA is a versatile and modular program, developed from an innovative digital platform that provides actual solutions tailored to the issues of each community. Young people think about the risks they may come up against and take on responsibility for their own safety. VIA is set up in schools, Écoles de Production, CFA (Apprentice Training Centers), youth centers and clubs, in partnership with local mobility players, teachers and educators.
VIA was pilot run in France, Cameroon and India, and today, thanks to the program, over 200,000 young people in nearly 1000 schools around the world have taken part in road safety awareness sessions. 35 countries on the five continents will be involved by the end of 2022.
Generally speaking, local NGOs are particularly proactive in promoting the initiative and have made an incredible contribution to the program’s global deployment. In India, United Way Mumbai made it possible for 62,000 young people to receive training. In January 2022, the creative VIA competition, launched by India, was extended to 20 further nations. The rules require young people to invent ways of raising road safety awareness among their peers and, by doing so, become road safety ambassadors. Around 100,000 young people have already taken part.
During the Covid-19 pandemic in Argentina, the NGO MINU set up online training courses and organized open-air VIA workshops . At the same time, the online VIA game was also developed and is still available for download, free of charge, in both French and English.
In France, VIA training courses were made available in Écoles de Production. At L’Industreet , specific modules were created for young people, who were also able to take advantage of a limited number of hours in a driving simulator.
TotalEnergies affiliates are also taking action to make sure the VIA program thrives. As part of our employee volunteering program, Action!, employees could take part in VIA missions in 12 different countries. Our personnel volunteered their support by taking part in the road awareness sessions in classes, or by being the point of contact for schools participating in the creative VIA competition.
Because mobility is at the heart of TotalEnergies’ activities, road safety is one of its main priorities. The new aim is not just to reach those countries in which the Company is present, but also to draw new partners into the project to ensure its longevity and increase its impact. In the longer term, VIA could also be an integral part of the educational program and even become a certified-based training course in other countries within the Company’s sphere of activity.