OUR LIFE ON THE STREETS
It is not so outrageous the number of victims on the roads, considering the superficial way we live, underlying it.
DIAGNOSIS AND TREATMENT by FRATERNITÀ DELLA STRADA
We all end up speaking about road accidents when a friend or family member is involved, or when there are pile-ups or a lot of victims.
In most cases we get by with the usual comments such as “there are so many reckless people around”, “more check points are needed”, “road safety education in schools is needed” or “heavier penalties are needed”. These are all fair comments which however all subtly imply passing on responsibility to others.
The media has also unfortunately played its part in shifting responsibility to other factors, with headlines such as “Killer road”, “Killer Fog”, “The bend of death” and other influential headlines while it is widely known that the 90% of accidents are due to driver error.
In order to combat the problem of road accidents, the authorities essentially aim for strict measures which are definitely needed for “those who offend” but which, according to distinguished psychologists, never lead to an internal awareness which is the only real remedy, because it is the result of reflection and personal conviction.
The road has become a place to transfer our frustrations and compensate our needs rather than considering it as our communal house. In addition, everyone has a natural tendency to minimize and excuse our errors and transgressions while we always subject others to unacceptable sanctions. In our subconscious, we see others as potential attackers to our safety and to the safety of the expansive vehicles we drive.
So, all of us on the road (some more than others, but everyone) feed “traffic stress”. It is tension, which exceeded threshold, reduces physiologically and progressively our assessment capacity (speed, perception of others), reflexes, reaction times and self control. Consequently, this kind of tension exposes and induces us and others to accidents and mistakes.
On the road, we often feel surrounded by arrogant and disrespectful people and, seeing no alternative, we end up adapting ourselves to this common and deleterious mentality without even realizing it. This form of negative emulation can be countered by a new way of living on the road together, and courageously setting positive examples.
In fact, there is an alternative! It was built in 1965 by the "youth" of “World X” (which, under the guidance of its founder, Father Eligio, also established the first Telefono Amico and the first communities for drug addicts). It was named Fraternità della Strada (Brotherhood of the Road): it is an independent, non- profit organization that welcomes those who, understanding the need to do something about this problem "personally", simply apply those good rules themselves and adopt that respectful conduct that usually (and in vain!) we would expect from “other” people.
The necessary continuity of this rewarding commitment is publicly guaranteed by displaying on our vehicles (or clothes) the symbol of our organization that, in addition to reminding ourselves of our commitment when we would like to give in to dangerous exceptions, shows other drivers a possible alternative.
The aims and values of Fraternità della Strada are shared by almost everybody. However the average person doesn’t think it necessary to become a member of the association due to their perception of being already righteous. As a matter of fact, this is a way to excuse oneself and behave upon convenience, leading to a lower level of civil coexistence and higher risk of car accidents.
On the contrary, all the members of Fraternità della Strada represent the most concrete and effective way to make a more helpful and civil way of sharing the road and preventing car accidents.
So those who want to contribute to a turnaround and support "responsible friends on the roads" can ask the association at:
Fraternità della Strada - Piazza S. Angelo, 2-20121 Milano. - Or by e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org
These are the rules that the members of the Fraternità della Strada uphold:
- To agree to regular assessments of their suitability and their driving capabilities both psychological and -physical;
- To meticulously observe the highway code, with no exceptions and no dangerous distractions from driving;
- To continually improve driving skills (rules, rescue knowledge, prevention, etc.), and associated behaviours, for both pedestrians and those on wheels;
- To offer assistance to those who have a "real" need of help on the roads and whenever required to voluntarily assist officers of the law and rescue workers, in case of any accidents;
- Wherever possible and for those who can and are able to do so, respond to any urgent requests for blood donors and support all life saving initiatives (e.g. organ donations and the like);
- Never react in any provocative or confrontational situations, on the contrary, always try to reach a peaceful resolution and negotiate a peaceful outcome between the parties concerned;
- Free and proper movement: correct parking, respect the rights of pedestrians, let others have the right of way and other common courtesies;
- To “always” behave in a correct and proper manner, to be tolerant and polite with all road users, for a better “climate" on the roads;
- To carry out regular safety checks on vehicles and use of safety equipment at all times (belts, helmets, child seats, etc.);
- Cut down on car usage of motor vehicles, for a real reduction in pollution and noise.
Co-operation and delegation
Members have no social obligations but can offer themselves as “volunteers” to work with the Organization. Those who are in possession of particular social and organisational skills and are not bound to political or commercial conditions can present themselves for handling or setting up a Delegation in their local area.
Activities of Fraternità della Strada
• Courses and campaigns in Road Education
• Courses in First Aid and Rescue Education
• Studies, research and initiatives for the prevention of accidents, for the improvement of the
circulation and, above all, of the skills and behaviour of all the members.
How to Join Fraternità della Strada
How to become a member. To be a part of this project is really easy. Fill in the form that you will find in the brochure and send it by post or via fax. Alternatively, download the form from our website and send it by email.
Any new member will receive a welcome letter, a badge and a sticker with our symbol to be stuck to the car, together with an annual report on the initiatives and news about the association. Those who have signed up leaving an email address will also be included in our periodic newsletter, containing many useful tips and news.
An annual support fee is fixed by each member at their own discretion and can be paid by postal order or cheque payable to "Fraternità della Strada ", or:
• by post office account (c/c 1477205-Iban IT57.W076.0101.6000.0001.1477.205), using their payment form • by bank transfers (Iban IT25.J050.4801.6010.0000.0038.860)