Lewis Hamilton paid a visit to Portcullis House in Westminster yesterday, where he spoke to a number of MPs in support of the FIA Foundation initiative 'Make Roads Safe - a Decade of Action for Road Safety'.
Those present included David Ward (Director General, FIA Foundation), Peter Bottomley MP (Vice Chair, Parliamentary Advisory Committee for Transport Safety (PACTS), Lord Andrew Adonis (Secretary of State for Transport), Carey Oppenheim (Co-Director, Institute for Public Policy Research) and Louise Ellman MP (Chair, Transport Select Committee).
"When the FIA Foundation invited me to speak here today, and when they briefed me by telling me exactly how many people die on the world's roads every year - a total of 1.3 million - I was shocked," said the 2008 World Champion.
"So the message I want to send out to drivers is: take a step back and think before you act. You could easily make a mistake and lose a friend's life or your own life. It's about being sensible and making the right decisions on the road. If you want to have fun, go to a go-kart circuit.
"When you're on a circuit, the target is to be as fast as you can," he continued, "but away from a circuit, on the roads, it's all about safety. On the roads it's not just you out there - you have oncoming traffic, you have people crossing the roads, and you may have passengers.
"Speed limits are there for a reason, and I think everyone should stick to them - I do. Okay, everyone has made mistakes - I admit I have in the past. But you learn lessons from your mistakes. And then, when you become more aware of the implications of your actions, you take more care.
"So I want to use my profile as Formula 1 World Champion to do what I can to help raise awareness about global road deaths - and what can be done to prevent them.
"In the UK we've made great progress on road safety, but much more can be done. We need a global decade of action for road safety, to cut the number of deaths by half. It's an ambitious vision, but not an impossible one. And it could help to save millions of lives."