A. Problem Analysis

 1. What was the problem before the implementation of the initiative?
The Automobile Club d’Italia is a non-profit public body. It represents and protects the general interests of Italian motorists, performing its activities on the whole national territory through its own network of local clubs. Club’s policies and actions for mobility are aimed at spreading an effective culture of safety and real social integration of the multiethnic communities living in the urban and suburban areas of our country. A survey on road accidents in Italy, conducted in 2012, has shown that 13.5% of the foreign-born driving population (estimated at some 4.75 million people) is involved in road accidents – the Egyptian, Peruvian and Albanian communities being the more concerned ones. This is a highly meaningful rate with regard to the social expenditure related to road accidents, borne by the whole national community, amounting to 30 billion Euros which is equivalent to 2% of the Italian GDP. Institutionally, the Club has always been concerned about the impact of road accidents with special regard to vulnerable road users. It has therefore been lobbying to implement public policies on mobility issues, combining ethics and social inclusion and in line with the suggestions from the U.N. General Assembly and the 2011-2020 Road Safety European Commission to halve road fatalities in Europe and in the world. Language difficulties – especially for speakers of non-European languages –, as well as a number of differences in the countries of origin concerning the rules of the road, road signs and markings, road environment, climatic conditions, are undoubtedly to be included among the main reasons interfering with a safe mobility of this group of vulnerable road users. This led to investigate the reasons behind the statistics and to study what actions could be taken to curb the phenomenon, at the same time promoting a real integration of foreign-born residents in the Italian society. The action identified to tackle the issue consists of a program offering free safe driving courses to foreign-born residents in Italy. The role of foreign Embassies, Consulates and national communities has been essential to maximize the effectiveness of the project.

B. Strategic Approach

 2. What was the solution?
Foreign-born residents working in Italy – they represent 7% of the driving population, owning about 3 million vehicles – are a valuable asset, an asset to be protected and deserving full integration in the national community. The Automobile Club d’Italia program offers free safe driving courses to foreigners living and driving in Italy. Such courses provide a teaching format based on European standards of excellence. This training program is dedicated to the most vulnerable residents, the foreign-born ones (because of different languages and habits in the country of origin), thus facilitating their social integration regardless of gender, age, income etc. The program is based on the values of welcoming and integration and can be considered a best practice example for the European Year of the Citizen 2013. Reducing the number of deaths and injuries on Italian roads is an objective to be achieved through the support of many institutional entities, since only cooperation and interdisciplinary contribution can lead to real and systemic effects. As a matter of fact, the project has been implemented through partnerships with national and international stakeholders. Here below the 3 key development steps: • Patronage of institutional stakeholders committed to road safety such as the Italian Prime Minister’s Office and the Ministries for Foreign Affairs, for International Cooperation and Integration and for Cultural Heritage and Tourism, as well as local authorities (Municipal Police, Road Police, Carabinieri Force, Municipalities, Regions, Provinces, Prefetture, local Police Headquarters etc.) • Involvement of international stakeholders such as Embassies, Consulates and foreign communities living in Italy, all sharing the project’s aim, that is to ensure foreign-born residents the same right to mobility as the Italians • Involvement of the 106 Provincial Automobile Clubs affiliated to the Automobile Club d’Italia The course is divided into two sections: 1. theoretical lessons, taught by qualified tutors; 2. practical driving lessons during which, under the continuous supervision of experts, participants will face unsafe driving conditions, both from an objective point of view (rough road surface, adverse weather conditions, vehicle breakdowns etc.) and a subjective one (reduced control of the vehicle when under unsuitable psycho-physical conditions). After attending the course, participants will be certified as “Ambassadors of Road Safety”. Applicants are required to complete the relevant form available for download from the ACI website,, or from the websites of the Vallelunga Safe Driving Centre ( or from In order to apply for the course, applicants must enter their personal details and hold a driving license valid in Italy. The project is the first of its kind in Europe.

 3. How did the initiative solve the problem and improve people’s lives?
The most important innovative features of the project have been the interdisciplinary approach to road safety problems, the attention towards foreign communities living in Italy and the primary interest to include them into sustainable mobility programs. One more innovative element of the project is that not only it helps foreign motorists in learning safe driving techniques that can contribute in preventing road accidents but also it proposes safe mobility as a commonly shared civil value, according to the Europe 2020 Strategy guidelines. The project has been designed and developed to address a clearly identified challenge in an effective and efficient manner; its starting simple idea meets an important social need and brings about a range of human, social and economic benefits. The project has been awarded with the Best Practice Certificate by the Committee of the EPSA (European Public Sector Award), since one of the main innovations of the project is that a non-profit public body addresses road safety issues in Europe with the goal to guarantee to all residents the same safety conditions without ethnic distinctions.

C. Execution and Implementation

 4. In which ways is the initiative creative and innovative?
The Automobile Club d’Italia, a non profit public body, represents the general interests of Italian motorists for a responsible and effectively eco-friendly mobility. The program has been implemented accordingly to ACI main strategic lines, that is, improving an effective culture of safety and encouraging a real integration and convergence of all the stakeholders that share the same values: first of all, ethic mobility and equal dignity for all. The ACI project springs from an innovative strategy, meant to redesign mobility - both at local and national level - on the idea that our quality of life and the accessibility of territory and services are intimately related. With its network of 106 local clubs, ACI has now been working for many years on the issues of road safety, with special regard to supporting vulnerable categories – immigrants, the disabled, the youth, women, children, the elderly – and with a view to a social inclusion. The network of local Automobile Clubs throughout the country has also been fundamental for the success of the program and has confirmed its subsidiarity role once more. In the management of this project, the national and local stakeholders (Municipal Police, Road Police, Carabinieri Force, Municipalities, Regions, Provinces, Prefetture, Local Police Headquarters etc.), as well as foreign Embassies, Consulates and national communities of foreigners, have been very important and all indispensable allies. Here below is the road map of the program: • Involvement of institutional stakeholders (that is, Ministries that give their support) by means of ad-hoc promotional events and stakeholders’ cooperation in terms of monitoring the relevant social targets; involvement of Embassies and Consulates governing the different foreign communities living in Italy (August 2012-December 2013). • Launch of a communication campaign opened by a press conference with the participation of the ACI’s President and Secretary General, as well as of the Ministries giving their patronage and many Embassies involved. The event has achieved a large press and TV coverage both at the local and national level (August – December 2013). • Involvement of the Provincial Automobile Clubs - public, not for profit bodies, affiliated to the Automobile Club d’Italia – in order to ensure a capillary distribution of the program all over the Italian territory avoiding any geographical exclusions (August 2012 – December 2013). • Transfers of participants from the place of residence to Rome through the Provincial Automobile Clubs network (106). Assistance to participants meant to solve possible problems linked to courses attendance (August 2012 – December 2013). • Use of the ACI-Sara Vallelunga Safe Driving Centre (in Rome) boasting cutting edge technology and last generation didactic tools.

 5. Who implemented the initiative and what is the size of the population affected by this initiative?
The initiative - originated from an idea of the ACI Secretary General based on the studies performed by the relevant ACI Departments - is in line with the ACI institutional missions. It received the patronage of the Prime Minister’s Office, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of International Cooperation and Integration, the Ministry of Regional Affairs, Tourism and Sport. Its realization involved Embassies and Consulates, the ACI network of 106 local Automobile Clubs, Police officers, local authorities (Municipal Police, Road Police, Carabinieri Force, Municipalities, Regions, Provinces, Prefetture, local Police Headquarters etc.), ACI-Sara Vallelunga and the relevant ACI offices (Press, Intl. Relations, Quality Control). The ACI project combines the issues of road safety, intended as a life-style, and social cohesion among different nationalities. Furthermore, the project has been implemented through the support of many institutional authorities together with the local Automobile Clubs’ network, thus creating real community-based innovation schemes and enabling better quality of life for residents.
 6. How was the strategy implemented and what resources were mobilized?
The primary mission of the Automobile Club d’Italia is to invest its human and financial resources in order to promote safe mobility. To date, ACI has certified over 60,000 safety trainers and taken countless legislative actions – towards making compulsory road education programs for school children; adopting a penalty point system; introducing accompanied driving for learner drivers; creating a network of driving schools named “Ready2Go”where driving techniques and road safety rules are taught by means of high-technology education modules. The ACI official insurance company – Sara Assicurazioni – shared the costs of the initiative as an intelligent and dutiful investment towards road safety. Law enforcement being not enough to reduce the high costs resulting from road fatalities and injuries, the initiative uses a preventive approach having high social value. A whole series of stakeholders, including public health services, can benefit financially from the reduction of road crashes, which, in the medium-long run, will improve national economy and help the social integration of foreign residents. 1000 safe-driving courses per year for three years (2012-2014), held at the ACI-Sara Safe-Driving Centre of Vallelunga, are made available at no cost for foreign residents driving in Italy. After taking the course, participants commit themselves to play the role of “Ambassadors of Road Safety” within their families and national communities, raising awareness of the Highway Code and stressing the importance of abiding by the rules. The costs involved amount to approx. 500,000 EUR/year (330,000 EUR teaching costs and 170,000 EUR organisational costs). Each course has 2 teachers (police officers) and 6 technical experts for theory and practice demos.

 7. Who were the stakeholders involved in the design of the initiative and in its implementation?
 2400 foreign drivers certified as “Ambassadors of Road Safety” over the years 2012-2013;  Strong involvement of international stakeholders (over 100 Embassies and Consulates of foreign countries including Argentina, Egypt, Philippines, France, Morocco, Ukraine, Peru, Romania, Poland, Pakistan, Nigeria, Senegal, Sri Lanka, Slovenia, Ecuador, Moldova etc.) enhancing the ACI vision for road safety as well as its commitment to the values of social integration;  Patronage of the initiative from top government bodies (Prime Minister’s Office, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Integration, Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Tourism);  Cooperation with top state authorities (Ministry of the Interior, 100 Police officers) as well as with local authorities (Municipal Police, Road Police, Carabinieri Force, Municipalities, Regions, Provinces, Prefetture, local Police Headquarters etc.), towards planning safe mobility and accessible services as strictly related aspects of our quality of life;  Strong involvement of the 106 Provincial Automobile Clubs– no-profit public bodies federated to the Automobile Club d’Italia – to ensure dissemination of the initiative throughout the Italian territory.

 8. What were the most successful outputs and why was the initiative effective?
ACI launched a promotion campaign of the project in order to draw the media and public attention with 700 pages of press review from 29th August 2012 to 15th December 2013 including: 250 articles on newspapers, weekly magazines and specialized press; 270 Internet articles; 110 press agency takes; 80 TV and Radio transcriptions; 90 TV and Radio broadcasts; more than 3,5 hours broadcasts devoted to the event; 78 TV and Radio interviews; 18 national and local press conferences with the presence of 180 Italian and local journalists and press agencies, 65 national and local TV and Radio troupes. The initiative was covered by the main national and local networks. Many clips on the “Ambassadors of Road Safety” were uploaded on YouTube, as many as pictures on the web and Facebook. Moreover, a Customer Satisfaction survey was carried out among the participants to the safe driving courses: it has shown that 90% of them were very satisfied and 10% satisfied in terms of professionalism of teachers and level of subjects taught. Participants have also been asked to rank the 3 main objectives of the project assigning up to 100 points totally. Among “consistency with foreign motorists’ needs”, “sustainability” intended as development of responsible mobility and “social inclusion”, this last objective has received the best score from over 50% of the participants. So the project has been perceived as an excellent chance for social integration. The survey was used to assess ACI too: 90% of the sample group regarded the project as expression of ACI’s capability to protect social needs applying ethics and transparency principles. Participants’ opinion on the best way to approach candidates: e-mailing was the preferred method by almost all participants, followed by meetings and media coverage.

 9. What were the main obstacles encountered and how were they overcome?
The idea to improve road safety for all road users on the Italian territory -in a framework of cooperation and integration among all the actors of mobility- did not meet with any obstacle thanks to the strength of its intrinsic social value. Further to improving driving skills and teaching safe driving techniques to prevent road accidents and reduce road deaths and injuries, the project is meant to promote mobility as a social value to be connected with good citizenship. The project was enthusiastically welcomed by the Embassies and Consulates involved (including those of Argentina, Egypt, Philippines, Morocco, Ukraine, Peru, Romania, Poland, Pakistan, Nigeria, Senegal, Sri Lanka, Slovenia, Ecuador, Moldova etc.), which strengthened our vision of road safety as a means of social inclusion. Foreign-born residents working in Italy – they represent 7% of the driving population, owning about 3 million vehicles – are a valuable asset, an asset to be protected and deserving all the investments that can lead to their full integration in the national community. The ACI project aims at improving the quality of life of foreign motorists living in Italy by removing their mobility disadvantage.

D. Impact and Sustainability

 10. What were the key benefits resulting from this initiative?
The project -far from being purely an assistance program- wants to give its contribution to improve safety in mobility and promote a fair integration of ethnic minorities in the Italian society. More than 2,400 foreign motorists have been involved so far, who have been called “Road Safety Ambassadors”. A Customer Satisfaction survey was recently carried out among “Road Safety Ambassadors” to check their level of awareness as ambassadors to spread the word of responsible mobility in their respective communities. The survey also intended to find out what the ambassadors’ expectations are in the medium period (about 5 years) regarding improvement of their social inclusion after becoming aware of safe and responsible mobility, as this can ensure them better use of the road network for everyday-life needs (work, family, entertainment, services). The survey, carried out during the first half of 2013, is divided into the following sections:  Awareness of responsible mobility values (respect for human life); 90% of the interviewed confirmed they are aware of their role to spread the word of responsible mobility in their respective communities as a means to improve personal and common welfare;  Awareness of their role as ambassadors among their friends and families: about 85% of the interviewed were very satisfied with their new role;  Increased accessibility to social services (hospitals, chemists, local administrations) and public transport facilities (railway stations, bus and underground stations, airports). 90% of the interviewed confirmed increased accessibility;  Moreover, above 50% of the interviewed declared they feel themselves drivers as well as passengers and/or pedestrians. This confirms the importance of the safe driving training programme carried out by ACI. Finally, many of the interviewed were women, which confirms the aim of the project to ensure social equity.

 11. Did the initiative improve integrity and/or accountability in public service? (If applicable)
The program has proved to be highly sustainable in terms of the involvement of stakeholders (such as the Italian Government, the foreign Embassies and Consulates that have ensured its continuity), the rising number of participants, the good results of the customer satisfaction survey and the media coverage. Until 2014 the ACI-Sara Vallelunga Safe Driving Centre will continue to host courses to be attended by up to 60 participants per class. A bus service will be made available by local Automobile Clubs for participants to reach Vallelunga from all over Italy. Each class is divided into theory and practice sessions including driving training in dangerous situations (e.g.: aquaplaning, reduced grip, understeer and oversteer, emergency braking with and without ABS etc.). The course also teaches how to behave correctly on the road and makes aware of the dangers and difficulties in daily driving. The Automobile Club d’Italia has been investing in this program since it generates important social and financial returns for the whole community in Italy, namely in terms of increased awareness of traffic rules, integration of foreign communities, prevention of road accidents, promotion of safe mobility and, last but not least, reduction of social and economic costs of road accidents. The program can be easily exported through the action of the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile and the support of other countries with a sound culture of road accident prevention, as well as through the network managed by EIPA of the best public administrations taking part in the various editions of the EPSA prize. The project promotes the knowledge of the highway code rules among foreign-born drivers who, after attending the courses, are expected to disseminate the road safety culture within their own national communities, thus also improving social integration. Finally, the program can be replicated being a good example of how road safety can be promoted through the involvement of different stakeholders and partners as well as of national and international mass media.

 12. Were special measures put in place to ensure that the initiative benefits women and girls and improves the situation of the poorest and most vulnerable? (If applicable)
The outcomes have proved the quality of the ACI project, which has adopted an interdisciplinary approach to road safety problems, paying attention to foreign communities living in Italy to stimulate both road safety awareness and social inclusion. The network of the Automobile Clubs affiliated to ACI has been crucial to the project’s success as well as the support of Embassies, Consulates, Government and local authorities involved in road safety issues. Increasing the number of partnerships, also at the European level, is among the next objectives of ACI in the medium-long period, in an attempt to include all interested stakeholders. Furthermore, as the project ties together mobility and social equity issues, the role of ACI as mediator will be strengthened in a multi-ethnic society. Carrying on the project will allow further surveys to ascertain its real benefits with regard to the improvement of Italian economics (reduction of social costs depending on road accidents and consequent redistribution of public funds) and to the integration rate of foreign-born residents in social and labour contexts within our country. For the time-being, foreign-born residents are the main beneficiaries of the project but in the medium-long period ACI intends to provide with safe driving courses also the youth, in line with the guidelines issued by the European Commission and the United Nations who consider them as vulnerable road users.

Contact Information

Institution Type:   Public Organization  
Contact Person:   ASCANIO ROZERA
Telephone/ Fax:   06 49982370 - 06 4452260
Institution's / Project's Website:  
Address:   VIA MARSALA N.8
Postal Code:   00185
City:   ROMA
State/Province:   LAZIO

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