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.
Many varied commemorative events are held on each World Day, or on the days before or after.
* Sustainable Development Goal 3.6: Reduce fatalities & serious injuries by 50% by 2020
This theme is based on Pillar 1 of the Global Plan for the Decade of Action – Road Safety Management.
One of the five indicators for which information is being collected under Pillar 1 is the “No of countries with time-based road safety targets. Targets provide a means to monitor the extent of progres and monitoring of progress is vital in achieving the ultimate goal of the Decade – reducing the forecasted number of road traffic deaths and injuries globally by 2020.”
The 50% target for both deaths and serious injuries (the latter had mostly been ignored until now) has been chosen because this target is part of the Sustainable Development Goal adopted by the UN General Assembly.