Ceremonies to mark World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims
16 November 2007 | GENEVA - Road crashes kill 1.2 million people every year and injure or disable as many as 50 million more. They are the leading cause of death among young people between 10 and 24 years. The World Day of Remembrance - the third Sunday of November each year - draws attention to the devastating consequences of these deaths and the need for action.
This year a number of events are being planned by victims' associations and other groups. The events on and around 18 November include:
- In various countries, through an activity called "Remember and Reflect", candles will be lit in public spaces and private homes across many continents in honour of those killed. As the light vanishes on one continent, it will be kindled on another.
- In various countries, through an activity called "Remember and Respond", activists will work with local authorities to achieve a "day without road crashes", when concerted effort will be taken to promote the use of seat-belts and helmets; speed reduction; drink driving avoidance; and enforcement of legislation around these issues.
- In Australia, the Road Trauma Support Team in Victoria will host the annual “Time of Remembrance,” a multi-faith gathering for all those affected by injury or bereavement as a result of a road traffic crash. The ceremony will be held at Parliament House in Melbourne.
- In Israel, the National Authority for Road Safety and several nongovernmental organizations are conducting candlelight parades and gatherings to honour road crash victims.
- In Japan, there will be a memorial service in Tokyo followed by a seminar during which discussions will focus on how to prevent further victimization of survivors trying to navigate the criminal justice system.
- In Kenya, the national office of the Association for Safe International Road Travel (ASIRT) is coordinating candlelight services with testimonies from victims and families.
- In Mexico, the National Center for the Prevention of Accidents and others are supporting testing of blood alcohol content, vehicle inspections and public service campaigns involving theatre performances and photo and art exhibits. More than 7000 university students are expected to participate in related events across six campuses.
- In Nigeria, Safety Alliance will use the occasion to send its members to different locations across the country to raise awareness about road traffic crashes and ways to prevent them.
- In South Africa, Drive Alive is supporting candlelight ceremonies in churches in several locations.
- In the United Kingdom, under the auspices of RoadPeace, more than 40 religious services will be held in places of worship around the country.
- In the United States, a briefing will take place on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, sponsored by the Congressional Caucus on Global Road Safety and ASIRT.
The World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims was designated by the United Nations General Assembly in 2005 as acknowledgement for victims of road traffic crashes and their families.
For more information contact:
Department of Injuries and Violence Prevention
Telephone: +41 22 791 4547