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Pope Francis: to traffic and railway police, drivers “poorly responsible” but mobile phones are to blame as well. “Fines” are not enough

“Every citizen should feel grateful for the efforts you make on behalf of the State and the community, to protect, through multiple roles, the safety of the people who travel by road or by train”. This is the Pope’s tribute to the officers and staff of the Central Traffic and Railway Headquarters whom he gave audience to in the Sala Clementina. “Our world sees movements multiply so that efficient, safe mobility has become a key, essential requirement for a society that wants to keep abreast of development and protect the safety of its members”, Francis began and then went on to say that, “efforts made in the streets to check infringements, to control traffic, to prevent, rescue and check on accidents must reckon with a reality – that of the street – that is ever more complex and tumultuous”. “Along with the deficiencies of the road system, which needs remarkable investments to be refurbished and made safe – Francis warned –, one is challenged by many drivers’ poor sense of responsibility as they often seem not to notice the consequences, sometimes serious consequences, of their distraction, for instance by improperly using their mobile phones, or of their intemperance”. All this, according to the Pope, “is caused by a hurry and competitiveness that have been taken as a lifestyle, that turn the other drivers into obstacles or into opponents to be beaten, that turn the streets into formula one circuits and the traffic-lights into the starting block of a grand prix”. In such a scenario, “fines are not enough to increase safety, education is required to make people more aware of the responsibilities they have for the people who travel next to us”.



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