19th NOVEMBER 2023
As every year, the objectives of WDoR 2023 are to provide a platform for road traffic victims and their families to:
- remember all people killed and seriously injured on the roads;
- acknowledge the crucial work of the emergency services;
- draw attention to the generally trivial legal response to culpable road deaths and injuries and advocate for an appropriately serious response;
- advocate for better support for road traffic victims and victim families;
- promote evidence-based actions to prevent and eventually stop further road traffic deaths and injuries
Every year, millions more road victims are added to the current toll of over 50 million killed and hundreds of millions injured since the first road death 125 years ago last August – a disaster that continues day in and day out in all countries of the world. It is an actual pandemic, affecting primarily our vulnerable and our young, which in addition to the trauma of injury and bereavement has also a devastating economic impact for countries, communities and families. Therefore, during the new Decade of Action 2021-2030 the World Day will have the important role of helping to achieve the 50% road casualty reduction target.
WDoR puts the spotlight on JUSTICE.
Traffic law enforcement, thorough investigation after a crash to find out if a crime was committed and to prevent recurrence, criminal prosecution where appropriate and civil compensation are all part of the justice system. When carried out seriously, fairly and consistently, such a system is what road crash victims who have been injured or had a family member killed as the result of someone’s law–breaking or negligence deserve and wish for, since it also represents a main factor of prevention and this would mean that lessons are learnt from their tragedies so that they may not be repeated.
The World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims (WDR) is commemorated on the third Sunday of November each year.
It is a high-profile global event to remember the many millions who have been killed and seriously injured on the world’s roads and to acknowledge the suffering of all affected victims, families and communities – millions added each year to countless millions already suffering: a truly tremendous cumulative toll.
This Day has also become an important tool for governments and all those whose work involves crash prevention or response to the aftermath of crashes, since it offers the opportunity to demonstrate the enormous scale and impact of road deaths and injuries, call for an end to the often trivial and inappropriate response to road death and injury and advocate for urgent concerted action to stop the carnage.
On World Day we too pay tribute to the dedicated emergency crews, police and medical professionals, who deal daily with the traumatic aftermath of road crashes.
The World Day’s history began in 1993:
In the UK, several church services in memory of road traffic victims were held in 1993 and 1994, coordinated by UK’s charity for road traffic victims RoadPeace, founded in 1992 and an affiliated member of the European Federation of Road Traffic Victims (FEVR) since 1993.
Then from 1995 onwards, on the initiative of the Founder of RoadPeace, all other road victim organisations under the umbrella of FEVR agreed to remember road victims in their respective countries on a common day and chose the 3rd Sunday of November as this Day.
Many different remembrance events and ceremonies began to be held each year. At first the Day was named ‘European Day of Remembrance’, but soon ‘World Day’ when NGOs from Africa, South America and Asia – associated members of FEVR – joined, and when the Pope began to mention road victims in his Angelus Address on the 3rd Sunday of November.
When in 2004 the newly established UN Road Safety Collaboration forum (UNRSC) was considering the inception of a global day on which to emphasise road safety, the endorsement of the World Day of Remembrance was suggested by its initiator, who represented road victims on this forum as FEVR’s president from 2004–2010. A resolution was duly drafted.
On 26th October 2005, the World Day was adopted, unanimously, by the UN General Assembly as “the appropriate acknowledgement for victims of road traffic crashes and their families”.
The UN adoption resulted in raised publicity and therefore in a growing number of countries commemorating the World Day of Remembrance, since every country on the globe is affected by the disaster of road death and injury.
A dedicated website was launched and a Guide for Organizers written (Published by WHO) – to make the Day more widely known and to link countries through sharing common themes, goals and targets besides remembrance of people killed and injured in crashes.
Some 25 years after its start, the World Day had become known and observed across all continents not only by NGOs advocating for road victims and road safety, but also by governments and many other related and relevant stakeholders.
This development required that the World Day became officially an independent entity – to ensure secure and competent management, regular help and advice to the growing number of organizers, a still far wider reach through systematic, round the year promotion, therefore the World Day was registered as a Foundation in August 2021.
- Operating as a Foundation only for the second year, the observance of World Day of Remembrance 2022 has been extremely successful, as this WDoR 2022 Report clearly shows.