Vatican addresses issue of road rage
A rise in the incidence of road rage, as well as the ongoing tragedy of road accidents, has led the Holy See to develop a pastoral strategy to foster positive values for drivers.
The Pontifical Council for Migrants and Itinerant People issued a statement following the European Meeting of National Directors for Highway Pastoral Care, which it held earlier this month.
In a statement issued on Tuesday, the Council observed that roads are not just means of transit, but places where people meet. It called for appropriate and creative forms of the apostolate in that area.
The meeting noted the human factor is responsible for 90% of road accidents. In the 20th century, 35 million people died and 1.5 billion were injured in road accidents.
"Given this tragedy, the joint commitment to road education" from early childhood, and to care of the families of the victims, "is urgent on the part of civil society and of churches and ecclesial communities, as well as of leaders of believers of different religions," the statement continued.
"The apostolate of the highway is directed above all at forming a more attentive awareness of the need to lay the foundations for peace and human coexistence, including on the roads of the world, in a society that will be increasingly less aggressive, arrogant and violent," the statement adds.
This apostolate must also support highway "professionals" - drivers, tourists, security guards, gas station personnel - and sensitise the media to the reality and problems of traffic, the statement said.
Vatican asks drivers to respect highway rules (Catholic World News)
Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People
Australian Transport Safety Bureau: Road Safety
Drivers.com: Road rage
14 Feb 2003