Movement Grows to End Traffic Violence 

by Leah Shahum November 19, 2019 in Families for Safe Streets, News, Press, U.S. Vision Zero Cities

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.

Body bags at World Day of Remembrance 2019 – New York City
Shoes on display in Asheville, NC – World Day of Remembrance 2019

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).

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.


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.

Candles at vigil in Denver, CO – World Day of Remembrance 2019

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

Walk Denver November 17, 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.

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.

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.

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.

Memorial for Aiden Tam in Pasadena, CA – World Day of Remembrance 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.

Pasadena Complete Streets Coalition November 18, 2019

Community members in Tampa, FL – World Day of Remembrance 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.

Display of shoes in honor of those lost in Tempe, AZ – World Day of Remembrance 2019

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

City of Tempe Government November 15, 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.

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