Sunday, Nov. 18, 2018: Day of Action Calls Attention to Preventable Traffic Deaths Worldwide

by Veronica Vanterpool | November 15, 2018 | in Families for Safe Streets, News, Safety Over Speed

Photo source: Oregon & SW Washington Families for Safe Streets

For Immediate Release:

Communities Across U.S., Globe Organize for World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims

Media Contacts:

Veronica Vanterpool, Deputy Director, Vision Zero Network, veronica@visionzeronetwork.org
Leah Shahum, Founder & Executive Director, Vision Zero Network, leah@visionzeronetwork.org

November 15, 2018 – More than 1.3 million people are killed worldwide each year in traffic crashes, according to the World Health Organization, translating to 100 lives lost daily on U.S. roadways. In anticipation of the international World Day of Remembrance (#WDoR2018) on Sunday, November 18, 2018, family members and friends of those lost, advocates, government and elected officials and others plan to rally, hold vigils, give sermons, lead marches, and mass bicycle rides to call attention to the millions of lives lost and to demand stepped-up action to prevent these tragedies.

“Though traffic crashes pose one of the leading causes of preventable deaths in the U.S. and worldwide, especially among children, we’ve seen astonishingly little urgency from policymakers and electeds to address these preventable tragedies,” said Leah Shahum, founder and director of the nonprofit Vision Zero Network. “We are starting to see more attention and action, particularly in cities committing to Vision Zero, to address this crisis. The World Day of Remembrance is an opportunity for communities to come together to demand change to ensure our streets are safe for everyone.”

Crash not Accident: Take the Pledge

Recognizing that we’ve minimized our control over safety for too long, brushing these tragedies as “accidents” out of our control, the Vision Zero Network is calling on elected officials, policymakers and others in influential positions to make the #CrashNotAccident pledge. This online form is intended to help people understand the power of their words and the power in the focus of working toward Vision Zero — the goal of zero traffic deaths and severe injuries.

The term “crash” suggests that these incidents are indeed avoidable by implementing tested strategies of safe roadway design, safe speeds, and policies that prioritize safety over speed. The word “accident,” on the other hand, suggests no ability to influence safe conditions, which is simply not true.

Growing Number of US Communities Rally for Safety, Vision Zero

Those rallying on Sunday November 18, 2018 – including victims, families and friends who’ve lost loved ones, advocates, government and agency staff and elected officials – will highlight the need for greater urgency to ensure safe streets and to making systemic and policy changes to reduce these preventable tragedies, including redesigned streets and reduced speeds.

Local Vision Zero advocates across the U.S. have spent weeks planning events calling attention to lives lost and injuries endured and are demanding greater action and urgency from leaders to ensure safety on our streets. World Day of Remembrance activities planned for 2018 include the following:

Los Angeles, California: Los Angeles Walks is organizing with SoCal Families for Safe Streets celebratory ceremonies and activities that remember those lost or forever changed by preventable traffic collisions.
Austin, Texas: Advocates are organizing a memorial walk from Austin City Hall to the Texas Capitol where a vigil will be held for victims of Texas traffic violence.
NYC, NY: The Interfaith Center of New York is calling all faith leaders of all religions and denominations to deliver Sermons for Safe Streets as part or all of their sermons or other community programming to coincide with WDoR2018.
Chicago, Illinois:
Vision Zero Chicago is featuring a display dedicated to the memories of the victims of traffic crashes over the past year in Chicago along with a press event to remember these individuals and in support of actions needed to reach the City’s Vision Zero goals. Click here for more details.
San Jose, California: California Walks and the Walk San Jose program, AileenQ.org, and the San Francisco Bay Area chapter of Families for Safe Streets will lead a memorial walk, followed by a press conference. For more information, visit this link.
Boston, Massachusetts: The Massachusetts Vision Zero Coalition events begin with a vigil at the Massachusetts State House to memorialize the human toll of traffic crashes suffered across Massachusetts and the world. The vigil will be followed by a silent walk of remembrance and a silent demonstration on Boston City Hall Plaza to call on Boston leaders to take faster action on making city streets safe. Click here for more details.
Portland, Oregon: Oregon and SW Washington Families for Safe Streets will hold a lighting ceremony and sign the Vision Zero Safety pledge. For more information, click here and here.
San Francisco, California: Walk San Francisco and the San Francisco Bay Area chapter of Families for Safe Streets will lead a memorial walk, followed by a press conference on the steps of City Hall. Details here.
San Antonio, Texas: Vision Zero San Antonio is installing a series of temporary signs on corridors noted for having a high frequency of severe pedestrian injuries and fatalities. The signs will recognize WDR victims while also educating drivers about their decisions. For more information, click here.

“On this international day of remembrance, it’s fitting that we focus on the individual lives that were lost and the pain that their loved ones will carry with them for the rest of their lives,” says Chicago Department of Transportation Commissioner Rebekah Scheinfeld. “At the same time, this global loss requires local action: we must recommit ourselves to the mission of Vision Zero and re-double our efforts aimed at eliminating these kinds of preventable tragedies.”

“We know what works – streets that are properly designed to keep people safe,” said Stacy Thompson, Executive Director of LivableStreets Alliance in Boston. “The hard work is implementing these designs in cities and towns across Massachusetts. Tackling these issues through the lens of Vision Zero means changing how communities manage their streets.”

Follow Actions Nationwide

The Vision Zero Network will be tracking actions nationwide on the World Day of Remembrance. Follow us on Twitter @visionzeronet.

We encourage the use of #CrashNotAccident and #WDoR2018 as social media tags to promote events.

About Vision Zero Network

The Vision Zero Network is a nonprofit effort working to advance Vision Zero across the country: the goal of zero traffic fatalities and severe injuries among all road users. The Network is bringing together leaders in health, transportation planning and engineering, enforcement, policy, advocacy, and the private sector to develop and share winning strategies, policies and practices to make Vision Zero a reality. More than 30 U.S. cities have committed to Vision Zero goals in just the past four years.

Learn more at visionzeronetwork.org. Also, read the newly released resource: Core Elements for Vision Zero Communities here.

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