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World Day of Remembrance for Road Victims

World Day of Remembrance for Road Victims – 21 November

Sunday 21 November is World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims.

The Remembrance Day was started in 1993 by RoadPeace, the UK’s national charity for road crash victims, and it is now observed in many countries by NGOs, including the European Federation of Road Traffic Victims (FEVR). In 2005 the United Nations endorsed it as a global day to be observed every third Sunday in November.

AA General Manager Mike Noon says the Remembrance Day doesn’t have a high profile in New Zealand yet, although he’s aware of an event that has been organised this year by Ashburton District Council.

“More and more countries are recognising the importance of observing this day for injured victims, bereaved families and the people who work to prevent crashes or who deal with their aftermath.

“There are a large number of people suffering terribly from road traffic crashes in New Zealand so we think it’s important that people take a moment to reflect on this. When you lose a loved one in a road crash you’re left with a lifetime of loss and painful memories.”

Observance of the World Remembrance Day is growing as countries realise that road crashes are the leading cause of violent deaths and injuries worldwide, says Mr Noon.

“Globally, road crashes kill more than 1.2 million people and injure or disable as many as 50 million people every year. They are the leading cause of death for children and young people.

“Last weekend was a horror weekend in New Zealand with 14* people dying in vehicle-related crashes. So far this year, 333 people have died on our roads and many more have suffered injuries, some very severe.”

Mr Noon says that sadly people make mistakes and get hurt, but we can do more to prevent road crashes.

“While we can’t quickly improve the state of our roads or our vehicle fleet, we can do this over time, and right now we can pay more attention to the way we drive and always treat the task of driving seriously,” he says.

AA road safety tips:

1. Always pay full attention to your driving.
2. Never drive if you’re tired or impaired by prescription or illegal drugs or alcohol.
3. Obey the road rules and restrictions on your licence – they are there to protect you!
4. Speak up if you think other people’s driving is unsafe. If you can’t talk to the driver themselves, family, friends and organisations can help.
5. Dial *555 on your mobile (but if you’re driving, pull over safely first) to report traffic incidents and unsafe driving.

The AA has endorsed a UN resolution for a global Decade of Action for Road Safety (2011-2020) and is working with government agencies to make sure New Zealand’s new road safety strategy saves as many lives and prevents as many injuries as possible.

ENDS

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