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Proust questionnaire for road safety by Ms. Nneka Henry, UNRSF Head

The Proust Questionnaire has its origins in a parlor game popularized by Marcel Proust, the French essayist and novelist, who believed that, in answering these questions, an individual reveals his or her true nature.

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1. What is your favourite mode of public transportation?

Buses. My favourite way of learning about any new town I live in is to go “bus hopping” on a Saturday. It’s an affordable and stress-free way to see the sights and how people interact with each other.

2. What is your greatest fear and the most stressful situation you have ever experienced on the road?

I have been a passenger in a speeding car, and I find that experience very stressful. Anything can happen on the roads, and at high speeds, a car driver will be less able to react safely. Pedestrians, cyclists, passengers, and the drivers themselves are also more likely to be seriously affected.

3. What is your idea of perfect happiness on the road?

The idea of everyone truly “sharing the road” makes me smile. A few UN Road Safety Fund projects support governments to implement non-motorized transport strategies, which means with proper infrastructure and zoning for walking and cycling: children, pedestrians, folks waiting for buses, and cyclists can all feel safe to move without fear of being struck by nearby vehicles. 

4. What is the trait you most dislike in others on the road?

Tailgate driving is one bad driving trait that I dislike and which can cause serious road traffic crashes.

5. If you could change one thing about yourself for road safety, what would it be?

I would walk and cycle more.

6. Which quality do you most appreciate in other drivers?

I appreciate drivers who respect the road rules because it tells me they value their safety and the safety of those around them.

7. What is your favourite sound on the road?

Any Bob Marley song playing out of a nearby radio is always good.

8. What is for you the most awful noise on the road?

The sound of high-pitch brakes screeching is the worst.

9. Which road safety champion/advocate do you most admire?

Youth for Road Safety (YOURS). Road crashes are the #1 cause of death for children and youth aged 5 to 29 years old globally. YOURS is working tirelessly to ensure that young people are part of the global road safety solution. Their slogan, “Nothing for youth without the youth,” says it all.