Photo source: worlddayofremembrance.org Thailand, WDR 2016
In one month—Sunday November 18, 2018– people around the world will unite in remembrance of those who have been killed or injured by vehicles on our roadways. In communities from Austin, Texas to those in Thailand, family members and friends, advocates, government and elected officials and NGO partners will rally, hold vigils, walk or ride a bike calling attention to the millions of lives lost and the urgency of reducing these preventable traffic tragedies.
In its 23rd year, World Day of Remembrance 2018 (WDoR2018) harnesses the collective grief, anger and frustration into a collective day of action that highlights the emotional and economic cost of traffic fatalities and injuries. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there are 1.3 million road traffic deaths each year worldwide. These deaths gravely and significantly impact human lives, but they also have implications for street design, speed limits, emergency services, insurance companies, vehicle standards and laws and policy. In fact, WHO notes that unsafe speeds and road infrastructure significantly impact road safety.
The Vision Zero Network has long acknowledged that speed and road design significantly impact road safety, identifying these two factors within the five Vision Zero principles:
1. Traffic deaths and severe injuries are acknowledged to be preventable.
2. Human life and health are prioritized within all aspects of transportation systems.
3. Acknowledgement that human error is inevitable, and transportation systems should be forgiving.
4. Safety work should focus on systems-level changes above influencing individual behavior.
5. Speed is recognized and prioritized as the fundamental factor in crash severity.
The slogan for World Day of Remembrance 2018 is “Roads have stories.” Amplify the story of your loved one or friend, of roads designed well and of treacherous roads that need changes. Weave the Vision Zero principles above into your story so that we can support a transformative shift towards safety for all road users.
This year, the Vision Zero Network encourages those participating in #WDoR2018 to also take the #CrashNotAccident Pledge via our website. As we tell our stories, let’s shift away from using “accident” when discussing traffic tragedies towards calling them “crashes.” As stated by the Associated Press Stylebook in its guidance to reporters—using accident “can be read as exonerating the person responsible.” Changing culture also happens when we change our language.
Please let us know what WDoR2018 actions you are planning via Twitter @VisionZeroNet or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org We want to highlight your actions and share your advocacy.
And, if you are interested in learning about strategies to reduce traffic fatalities and injuries, consider participating in our upcoming three webinars: Aligning Public Transit and Vision Zero for Better Communities; Safe Systems – What Does it Mean for Vision Zero – Part 2 (postponed); and Lowering Speed Limits to Manage Speeds: Experiences in U.S. Cities. Visit our Webinar page for dates, details and links to register.