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World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims

The World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims is held on the third Sunday of November each year to remember those who died or were injured from road crashes and the plight of their loved ones who must cope with the consequences of their deaths or injuries.

Road victims are remembered on the World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims

©iStockphoto.com/Slobo Mitic

What Do People Do?

Remembrance services and flower-laying ceremonies are held in memory of dead road victims around the world on the World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims. Police officers, associations supporting families of road victims, governments and communities unite families and friends of those who died or were injured from road traffic crashes in promoting the day through various activities.

These activities include: media campaigns and coverage;  websites dedicated to the day; celebrity involvement; information distribution via the internet, posters and leaflets; DVD presentations on road traffic crashes; advocacy messages from world leaders; moments of silence; seminars and workshops; exhibitions and displays of photographs of injuries and road crash scenes; and marches or processions. These activities occur in many countries in nearly every continent.

A book, titled World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims: a guide for organizers, provides practical guidance to people or groups who organize events related to this day. WHO, the European Federation of Road Traffic Victims (FEVR) and RoadPeace worked together in developing this book.

Public Life

The UN’s World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims is a global observance and not a public holiday.

Background

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the United States, road crashes are the leading cause of death in people aged between five to 34 years in the United States. It is the leading cause of death globally for children and young people aged between 10 to 24 years, and the third leading cause of death globally among people aged between 30 to 44 years. Every six seconds someone is killed or injured on the world’s roads, including drivers, passengers, motorcyclists, bicyclists and pedestrians.

The World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims was first observed by RoadPeace in 1993 and has since been held by non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in many countries. Since then it has been observed and promoted worldwide by several non-governmental organizations, including the European Federation of Road Traffic Victims (FEVR) and its associated organizations. On October 26, 2005, the United Nations endorsed it as a global day to be observed every third Sunday in November each year.

Symbols

RoadPeace uses an image of red, bleeding flower on a black background with the words “Remember Me” underneath the flower to promote the day. WHO’s emblem is also found in promotions for the day. The emblem, which was chosen by the first World Health Assembly in 1948, is often associated with the UN’s promotional material for World Mental Health Day. The emblem consists of the UN symbol surmounted by a staff with a snake coiling round it. The staff with the snake has long been a symbol of medicine and the medical profession. It originates from the story of Aesculapius who was revered by the ancient Greeks as a god of healing and whose cult involved the use of snakes.

Note: Although the day became an official UN day on the third Sunday of November in 2005, many people around the world celebrated the day since 1993.

World Day for Road Traffic Victims Observances

YearWeekdayDateNameHoliday Type
2010SunNov 21World Day for Road Traffic VictimsUnited Nations observance
2011SunNov 20World Day for Road Traffic VictimsUnited Nations observance
2012SunNov 18World Day for Road Traffic VictimsUnited Nations observance
2013SunNov 17World Day for Road Traffic VictimsUnited Nations observance
2014SunNov 16World Day for Road Traffic VictimsUnited Nations observance
2015SunNov 15World Day for Road Traffic VictimsUnited Nations observance
2016SunNov 20World Day for Road Traffic VictimsUnited Nations observance
2017SunNov 19World Day for Road Traffic VictimsUnited Nations observance
2018SunNov 18World Day for Road Traffic VictimsUnited Nations observance
2019SunNov 17World Day for Road Traffic VictimsUnited Nations observance
2020SunNov 15World Day for Road Traffic VictimsUnited Nations observance

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