Every year, on the third Sunday in November, we recognise the World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims, on which day countries around the globe, through institutions and groups involved in road safety, pay tribute to people who have lost their lives on the roads, and the families, relatives and friends left to deal with the aftermath.
The World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims was first celebrated nationally by RoadPeace in 1993. Since then it has been observed and promoted worldwide by several non-governmental organization (NGOs), including RoadPeace, the Association for Safe International Road Travel (ASIRT) and the European Federation of Road Traffic Victims (FEVR) and its associated organizations.
In recognition of the enormous strength that NGOs possess as advocates for road safety, WHO hosted a meeting of 12 such groups in September 2003. The meeting led to the creation of an informal network of agencies that advocates for road safety, and the identification of areas for joint activities. ASIRT, FEVR and RoadPeace were invited to be members of the UN Road Safety Collaboration. They, together with other NGOs in the informal network, lobbied through the Collaboration for a day to be dedicated to victims and their families. This led to the recognition by the United Nations General Assembly of the third Sunday in November every year as a World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims “as the appropriate acknowledgment for victims of road traffic crashes and their families”.
WHO, FEVR and RoadPeace have jointly developed a book, World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims: a guide for organizers, to provide practical guidance to people or groups on how to plan and organize events on this day. The book gives a brief history of the day and provides examples of specific activities. All those concerned with road traffic crashes and their consequences are encouraged to use this guide to organize annual events in different parts of the world to ensure that the advocacy opportunity of this day is fully realized.