The World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims was started by Road Peace in 1993. Since then it has been observed and promoted worldwide by several NGOs, including the European Federation of Road Traffic Victims (FEVR) and its associated organizations. On 26 October 2005, the United Nations endorsed it as a global day to be observed every third Sunday in November each year, making it a major advocacy day for road traffic injury prevention. WHO and the United Nations Road Safety Collaboration encourage governments and NGOs around the world to commemorate this day.
The day has become an important tool in global efforts to reduce road casualties. It offers an opportunity for drawing attention to the scale of emotional and economic devastation caused by road crashes and for giving recognition to the suffering of road crash victims and the work of support and rescue services. Road deaths and injuries are sudden, violent, traumatic events. Their impact is long-lasting, often permanent. Each year, millions of newly injured and bereaved people from every corner of the world are added to the countless millions who already suffer. The cumulative toll is truly tremendous.
The grief and distress experienced by this huge number of people is all the greater because many of the victims are young, because many of the crashes could and should have been prevented and because governments’ and society’s response to road death and injury and to bereaved and injured victims is often inadequate, unsympathetic, and inappropriate to a loss of life or quality of life.
This special Remembrance Day is therefore intended to respond to the great need of road crash victims for public recognition of their loss and suffering. It has also become an important tool for governments and those who work to prevent crashes or respond to the aftermath, since it offers the opportunity to demonstrate the enormous scale and impact of road deaths and injuries and the urgent need for action.
We at World Assembly Youth (WAY), believe that road traffic injuries can be prevented. Governments need to take action to address road safety in a holistic manner; this requires involvement from multiple sectors such as transport, police, health, education, and actions that address the safety of roads, vehicles, and road users.
SDG 11.2 calls to “provide access to safe, affordable, accessible and sustainable transport systems for all, improving road safety, notably by expanding public transport, with special attention to the needs of those in vulnerable situations, women, children, persons with disabilities and older persons” by 2030.