World Day of Remembrance Draws Record Numbers Mobilizing for Change
New Campaigns Launched, Safety Legislation Passed for Vision Zero
From Asheville to Austin, Tampa to Tempe, Denver to DC, a record number of communities across North America mobilized to demand an End Traffic Violence as part of annual World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims on Sunday, November 17, 2019.
A record number of communities — at least 20 — organized events for this year’s World Day of Remembrance. Activities ranged from memorial walks, bike rides, and somber displays of candles, shoes, and even body bags intended to represent the lives lost in preventable traffic crashes. Organizers ranged from those who’ve loved lost ones to government staff to community advocates who recognize that 100 traffic deaths each day in the U.S. is unacceptable.
Some of the particularly noteworthy happenings this year included the launch of a new campaign to challenge presidential candidates to #EndTrafficViolence, public recognition by one of the leading presidential candidates, and participation by influential national elected leaders (photos and more below).
Traffic violence kills thousands and injures even more Americans every year. On World Day of Remembrance for Traffic Crash Victims, I’m sending my love to the families and friends of those who have lost loved ones. It’s time to #EndTrafficViolence.
— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) November 17, 2019
— Families For Safe Streets (@NYC_SafeStreets) November 17, 2019
Most significant are the heartbreaking stories shared by those who lost loved ones to traffic violence. For each of the estimated 40,000 people killed annually in the U.S. while walking, biking or driving, each leaves behind friends, families, colleagues who continue to suffer.
Some of those, such as members of Families for Safe Streets, which has grown across North America, are transforming their anguish into advocacy and fighting for a safer future. One such campaign is #EndTrafficViolence, organized by NYC’s Families for Safe Streets, in order to demand plans and action from the presidential candidates. Get involved here.
*Every day* 100 Americans are killed on our roads. That’s almost 40k every year.
It’s time to end the silence on traffic violence.
— Thomas DeVito (@PedestrianTom) November 17, 2019
Participation in World Day of Remembrance has grown significantly as the Vision Zero movement builds, with more than 45 communities in the U.S. committing to the goal of zero traffic deaths and severe injuries among all road users.
Thank you to everyone who came out for the World Day of Remembrance candlelight vigil, honoring the 235 people who have died in traffic crashes since Denver declared its commitment to Vision Zero on February 17, 2016. Because streets are for people, and too many people are dying on them. @ Denver’s Civic Center Park
Proud to support @bcgp Families for Safe Streets #visionzerophl efforts at Works Remembrance Day for Victims of Traffic Violence. Brought my kids along because this isn’t altruism but self-preservation for us. pic.twitter.com/t0y0odSYmt
— Denis Devine (@ByDenisDevine) November 17, 2019
We want to thank everyone who came out yesterday to commemorate the World Day of Remembrance for Vulnerable Road Users!
— Alexandria Families for Safe Streets (@alxsafestreets) November 19, 2019
Some communities used the annual World Day of Remembrance to kick off new campaigns to advance Vision Zero, such as San Francisco, which launched its Slow Our Streets campaign to bring an end to unsafe speeds by urging the City to redesign streets for slower speeds, lower speed limits, and utilize effective automated enforcement.
— Walk San Francisco (@walksf) November 17, 2019
Vision Zero Texas launched its Every City, Every County, Every Life campaign in Austin during World Day of Remembrance. The campaign aims to win Vision Zero commitments in every city, county, metropolitan planning organization, and transportation agency in the state, starting with those in the Austin region. They are actively recruiting local jurisdiction leaders.
Honoured to participate in World Day of Remembrance in #ATX. Let’s all remember those lost to roadway violence by making our system safer…more sidewalks/bike lanes/transit, reduce speeds etc. @CapMetroATX safety is a core value that we aim to improve on everyday. #Visionzero pic.twitter.com/V6Myi81WyJ
— Randy Clarke (@CapMetroCEO) November 18, 2019
And the Boston Vision Zero leaders marked the World Day of Remembrance with an event in front of the Massachusetts State House, where they commemorated victims of traffic crashes, while also celebrating long-awaited progress on a long-stalled hands-free bill. After being debated for a decade in the House and Senate, Massachusetts finally became the last of the New England states to adopt a ban on drivers using their phones while operating a vehicle. The bill is headed to the Governor’s desk now.
We stood in the cold of Boston and wept. Wept to hear of a husband missing his wife killed in a crosswalk. Wept to hear of the sister who misses her ceased sibling’s laugh. Wept to hear the motorist who accidentally killed a cyclist 22 years ago and carries the grief. #WDoR2019 pic.twitter.com/NOiXdQ8kh6
— Rev. Laura Everett (@RevEverett) November 17, 2019
Safety advocates press for legislators to finally pass hands-free driving bill https://t.co/bINVI7TFoP
— Boston Herald (@bostonherald) November 18, 2019
On behalf of the Vision Zero Network, we send deep gratitude to all those who took action to support safe mobility for all on our streets, sidewalks, and bikeways. We believe that everyone has the right to move about their communities safely.
We remember those who have been lost to traffic violence. We honor their memories
We commend those who are organizing for change.
And we commit to continue to fight to End Traffic Violence by advancing Vision Zero, safe mobility for all.
Each pair of shoes represents a life lost. @CMPD and @CharlotteDOT believe it is important to emphasize the record loss of life on Charlotte’s streets over the last two years. #WDoR2019 #VisionZeroCLT #NCVisionZero #VisionZero pic.twitter.com/7TNIG4KtJh
— Charlotte DOT (@CharlotteDOT) November 17, 2019
Today’s press conference for World Day of Remembrance with @VZchicago has been powerful. We heard a lot about Chicago’s commitment to safer roadways for all. #WDoR2019 #VisionZeroChicago pic.twitter.com/C4YZ6uoVjZ
— RideOfSilenceChicago (@RideOfSilenceCh) November 18, 2019
A very meaningful #WorldDayofRemembrance earlier today with @bikejc and @SafeStreetsJC. There have been 5 deaths due to traffic violence in #JerseyCity so far this year. 5 deaths too many. #WDoR2019 pic.twitter.com/qqQ2Pop6lF
— Ayla Schermer (@AylaSchermer) November 18, 2019
We placed a #RainbowHalo in memory of Yana Lavrentev yesterday. She was a beloved wife, mother and daughter who spent her time teaching children with autism. She was killed by a hit and run driver. Part of #WDoR2019. @FSS_SoCal @LosAngelesWalks #EndTheSilenceonTrafficViolence pic.twitter.com/D1DhS07Yol
— SAFE (@StreetsR4Every1) November 16, 2019
— Thomas DeVito (@PedestrianTom) November 17, 2019
Another World Day of Remembrance. Today’s speakers are demanding a national #VisionZero to #EndTrafficViolence everywhere. Lots of stories of loss, death and injuries from crashes. The body bags symbolize the ~100 people lost each day in the USA. We lose more than 40k lives/year. pic.twitter.com/cRB6RnknqV
— Laura Shepard (@LAShepard221) November 17, 2019
Today @NYC_SafeStreets & @TransAlt placed 100 body bags outside the Fed Transit Admin bldg on #WorldDayOfRemembrance rep the 100+ people that die in USA every day from traffic crashes. @DannyHarris_TA @SenSchumer @amylcohen @HarrietBrompton @SteveKHindy https://t.co/gJvexHWRN0
— Clarence Eckerson Jr. (@PurpleClarence) November 18, 2019
— Brick City Bike Collective 🚲 (@BCBC_Newark) November 17, 2019
— FHP Orlando (@FHPOrlando) November 18, 2019
Honoring and remembering those who lost their lives to traffic violence during this year’s World Day of Remembrance. In the last year 6 people were killed on the streets of Pasadena.
— Greg Reininger (@gregreininger) November 1, 2019
— Walk San Jose (@Walk_SanJose) November 18, 2019
Community members and leaders from government and the business community joined together for a Walk of Silence in Tampa, Florida in honor of those lost in Hillsborough County. The event was organized by the Hillsborough Metropolitcan Planning Organization.
Sunday, Nov. 17, is World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims. To honor the 16 lives lost on Tempe streets, we have set up two memorial displays of 16 shoes, representing each life lost. Stop by the the Tempe Transportation Center or the @TempePublicLibrary to visit the memorial today through Monday morning. #WDoR2019 #Tempe #VisionZero
— FFSS (@FFSafeStreets) November 17, 2019
Very moving and emotional vigil for World Day of Rememberence tonight. Families and survivors from across the city came together to support each other and remember love ones taken too early by traffic violence. #WDoR2019 pic.twitter.com/orhunIZJwa
— Greg Billing (@gregbilling) November 18, 2019
Special thanks to Vision Zero Network intern Ekaterina Fefelova for research and support of World Day of Remembrance, Eric Tuvel for blog design, and all those who shared their efforts.