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Safe roads for all

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Poster for World Day of Remembrance 2013The World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims was started by RoadPeace in 1993 17 November 2013 – The World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims was endorsed by the United Nations on 26 October 2005 as a global day to be observed every third Sunday in November each year, making it a major advocacy day for road traffic injury prevention. The slogan of this year's campaign is: Let’s have roads that are safe for all.

The Day goes beyond remembering those who lost their lives or were injured in road crashes, their families and communities, to paying tribute to committed emergency teams, police and health professionals, who address the traumatic and detrimental consequences of road traffic crashes on a daily basis. It calls for greater global action to achieve the goal of the Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011–2020 to save five million lives.

This year, the Day carries even more significance with the release of the WHO Global status report on road safety 2013, which provides an update of the road safety situation in countries across the world. More important it sets the baseline for monitoring action through the Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011–2020.

The report shows that road traffic crashes remain a major public health concern as they continue to claim over 1.24 million lives worldwide every year. The WHO Eastern Mediterranean Region accounts for 10% of global deaths and has the second highest fatality rate across the world after the African Region. The younger and more economically active ages are hardest hit with grave implications for productivity and development. About 60% of those who are killed in road traffic crashes are between the ages of 15 and 44 years, and over 75% are male. 

The global report also demonstrates though that road traffic deaths and injuries can be prevented. Across the world, 88 countries have demonstrated success in reducing road traffic fatalities. Proven and effective interventions are well known and can be taken up by any country regardless of its income level.

Let this occasion go beyond mere observance to actual commitment to enhance work on the ground to make more roads safe for all those use them. Together, we can save millions of lives.

Related links

Message of Mr Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary-General, on World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims

WHO Global status report on road safety 2013 | Press release

United Nations Road Safety Collaboration 

The official World Day of Remembrance web site 

World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims: a guide for organizers

Faces behind the figures