Today, Sunday 19 November, is the World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims. This day is adopted by the United Nations to remember the many millions killed and injured on the world’s roads, together with their families, friends and many others who are also affected. It is also a Day on which we thank the emergency services and reflect on the tremendous burden and cost of this daily continuing disaster to families, communities and countries, and on ways to halt it.
ACRS Patron, Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove said “Today is a day for people in Australia and around the word to pause and think about the unbearable and unacceptable toll that road accidents take on so many lives, families and communities.”
“Whilst this day is about the millions killed and injured on the worlds roads every year, it is also the opportunity for each of us to reflect on the significant trauma and impact for each person left behind after a fatal or serious injury crash”, said ACRS President, Lauchlan McIntosh AM. “On an average day in Australia there are 3 people killed and a further 100 seriously injured through road trauma. Each event is violent, shocking and traumatic. The families, friends and colleagues of those killed or seriously injured, and those injured themselves, are affected for the rest of their lives from the effects of the crash.”
“This day is also to reflect on the many others affected by each crash – from the first responders and emergency services to the surgeons and health care workers facing each traumatised family to relay what is often devastating news,” said Mr McIntosh.
The sheer scale of the trauma led the ACRS Patron, Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove, to coin the phrase ’A silent war on our roads’, particularly given the nature of the deaths and injuries sustained. Mr McIntosh said “This is indeed appropriate, and we must now ask ‘Where is the mobilisation? Where is our front line response? Recognising the silent war means we need to add to our approach to reduce the unnecessary trauma. Just as new technologies are disrupting our travel we need new disruptive policies and approaches to support the current programs if we are to get to zero”.
On this day, and indeed every day, the Governor-General urged all those who use our roads “to be safe and be part of the solution to stop the unnecessary loss of life and the great tragedy and trauma it brings.”
- ACRS Website
- Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove AK MC Website
- Statement of the Chair of the UN Road Safety Collaboration
- Official World Day of Remembrance web site
- SaveLIVES: a road safety technical package
- National Road Safety Strategy 2011-2020: Australian Transport Council (2011).
About the World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims
The World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims (WDR) is commemorated on the third Sunday of November each year – to remember the many millions killed and injured on the world’s roads, together with their families, friends and many others who are also affected. It is also a Day on which we thank the emergency services and reflect on the tremendous burden and cost of this daily continuing disaster to families, communities and countries, and on ways to halt it.
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. (www.worlddayofremembrance.org)