Author & Past Editor (2008-2017) of the World Day website | www.worlddayofremembrance.org
Founder & President, | RoadPeace (UK) | www.roadpeace.org
Past FEVR President (2004-2010) FEVR | www.fevr.org
About the Author & Editor of the World Day website – from the President of FEVR
After initiating the Remembrance Day in 1993, Brigitte Chaudhry has been involved in its evolution ever since; for that reason I consider her to be the ideal person as editor.
Brigitte explained how the World Day came about:
“I was very impressed with the UK’s nationwide observance – on the 2ndSunday of November – of the Remembrance Day for all those killed and injured in wars and thought that having a Remembrance Day for people killed and injured in the ‘war on the roads’ the following Sunday would be very appropriate, especially as November is the month of remembrance.
I suggested the idea to my colleagues at the European Federation of Road Traffic Victims (FEVR), who were immediately enthusiastic about having a common Remembrance Day, the timing however was only agreed after some debates. We began to hold a variety of events – besides conferences, vigils and concerts also church services, because the FEVR survey we conducted at the time revealed road victims’ deep disappointment with lack of empathy by their churches besides most other agencies. The aim was to bring about recognition by society and all who come into contact with road traffic victims of the profound impact of road death and injury, to stop the indifference and help tackle this huge preventable social problem.”
In 2004, Brigitte, who is a bereaved mother and the founder and president of the UK charity for road traffic victims RoadPeace, became FEVR’s president– precisely at the time when the UN elected the World Health Organization to become Coordinator for addressing the ‘Global Road Safety Crisis’. She represented FEVR on the newly established UN Road Safety Collaboration Forum (UNRSC) from 2004 to 2010.
One of the products of the UNRSC was to be a common global day on which the scale and impact of road casualties would be highlighted. Brigitte explained that such a day was already in existence, observed by FEVR member organizations for the past decade first as European Remembrance Day and from 2002 as World Day of Remembrance.
A UN Resolution calling for Member states to observe such a global day on the 3rd Sunday of November each year was adopted on 26th October 2005. Brigitte then became the co-author of the Guide for Organizers, published by the World Health Organization in 2006. After that she began to develop the first World Day website, launched on 26th October 2008. As FEVR President until October 2010 and since then as FEVR’s Coordinator with other NGOs (Non Governmental Organizations), Brigitte has been in contact with Road Safety and Victim Advocacy NGOs from all around the world.
The growing popularity of the World Day and increased material necessitated a new and bigger website. I know that Brigitte donated many hundreds of hours to prepare the site for re-launch on 26th October 2012, and that in future she will continue to volunteer much time needed as its Editor.
We at FEVR are particularly happy about the World Day spreading to all the countries of the world and are proud – on behalf of all bereaved and injured road traffic victims whose interests FEVR represents – to have played an important part in its establishment and promotion, including via the European Parliament’s adoption of the WDR in the Koch report (RS 2020). FEVR continues to remind everyone that remembrance on World Day needs also to include the severely injured and their families, besides those who are killed in road traffic crashes.
Jeannot Mersch, FEVR President – www.fevr.org