The City of Boulder will observe Nov. 21 as the World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims, an international event started in 2005 to honor the 1.35 million people killed annually on the world’s roads and inspire organizing for change to prevent such tragedies.
The city has partnered with nonprofit It Could Be Me to host a memorial walk for road traffic victims on Nov. 21 on the Pearl Street Mall. It Could Be Me was founded by Boulder local Triny Willerton and is a nationwide program that advocates for improving the relationship between motorists and all users of the road by creating an environment of mutual respect. and is a nationwide program that advocates for improving the relationship between motorists and all users of the road by creating an environment of mutual respect.
The event takes on extra urgency this year as the number of people dying and severely injured in preventable traffic crashes in the U.S. is rising at an alarming rate. In the first half of 2021, 18.4% more people died in road traffic crashes compared to 2020, according to the U.S. Dept. of Transportation. Last year, overall, 42,060 people died on the U.S. roads, a 24% spike over the prior year in the rate of traffic deaths – the highest in 96 years – according to the National Safety Council.
The City of Boulder has experienced several traffic crash-related fatalities and serious injuries this year. These crashes affect everyone – people walking, people cycling and people driving – as well as the friends and family members of the victims.
The World Day of Remembrance also recognizes emergency responders, such as police and fire departments and emergency medical technicians, who are the first to arrive on scene to provide immediate care to those injured and provide a critical service to the community.
The City of Boulder has the Vision Zero goal to eliminate fatalities and serious injuries caused by traffic crashes in Boulder. In early 2022, the city will release the Safe Streets Report, which provides a detailed look at how severe crashes happen, who they are happening to and where they are occurring in Boulder. The report will also include a Vision Zero Action Plan to identify steps to take so the city can improve safety for all road users.