First We Remember, Next We Organize for Change, Safety
Thousands of people across the nation gathered Sunday, November 18 at vigils, memorial walks and rallies as part of the annual International World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims (WDoR2018). From Austin to San Jose to Chicago to Jersey City, those who led solemn sermons, silent bike rides and heartfelt speeches called attention to the everlasting impacts of traffic fatalities and serious injuries not only to those directly affected, but also to the many people who love them and also suffer.
(See images from events below.)
Common across U.S. communities’ activities were the following messages:
• Traffic deaths and injuries are preventable, and our leaders must do more to prioritize safety.
• Proven strategies exist to reduce traffic crashes and save lives; we need political will to implement them.
• Safety over speed. It’s that simple.
• Language matters: #CrashNotAccident
• A systems based approach, such as Vision Zero, is required for lasting change.
• Saving lives is not expensive, compared with the alternatives.
In 2017, there were 37,133 traffic deaths in the U.S. – preventable losses of life – and far more severe injuries. Those dying and injured on our roadways represent a public health crisis, yet not recognized as such. For instance, the dangers of second hand cigarette smoke, which kills 41,000 people a year in the U.S., is more widely addressed than the comparable number of traffic fatalities. This must change.
So, what’s next? World Day of Remembrance is an important and powerful day of solidarity for safe mobility. Now, we call on communities to garner that energy to organize for sustained action and change on the streets. We share resources such as the Vision Zero Network’s newly released, Core Elements for Vision Zero Communities, and Families for Safe Streets’ newly released, Guide for Creating an Effective Chapter, to support your efforts for change.
We invite you to join – and to invite others you know to join -- our upcoming webinars, Safety and Systems for Vision Zero & Vision Zero 101, to learn how a Safe Systems-based Vision Zero approach is saving lives.
We offer our gratitude to all of those who harnessed their pain and shared their experiences on WDoR2018. Now we ask you to organize to continue your demand for action, to highlight the urgency of 100 people a day dying needlessly on our roads each day, and to hold your leaders accountable.
Thank you to all who spoke out on WDoR2018. Here are some of the images and messages from local champions fighting for Vision Zero, safe mobility for all: