The World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims (WDR) is observed on the third Sunday of November each year by an increasing number of countries on every continent around the world. This day is dedicated to remembering the many millions killed or injured in road crashes and their families and communities, as well as to pay tribute to the dedicated emergency crews, police and medical professionals who daily deal with the traumatic aftermath of road death and injury.

Secretary-General, in Message, Calls for Concerted Action on Road Safety to Save Millions of Lives, as Vital Component of Post-2015 Development Agenda

Following is UN Secretary-General Ban Ki‑moon’s message for the World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims, observed on 17 November:

On this World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims, we call attention to the fact that every year crashes take the lives of almost 1.24 million people and injure as many as 50 million more, leaving some with permanent disability.

Behind these statistics are grieving parents, children, siblings, colleagues and friends.  Their struggle is not only emotional; traffic accidents often take a severe financial toll, with many families reduced to poverty through either the loss of a breadwinner or the costs associated with lost income and prolonged medical care.

I applaud the fact that Governments have agreed to a Decade of Action for Road Safety, 2011-2020, with the target of saving 5 million lives.  I welcome action by cities around the world to improve the safety of pedestrians, cyclists and all other road users.  Sidewalks, crosswalks, overpasses and roadway lighting are being installed; laws on drunk driving, speeding, wearing seatbelts and prohibiting texting and other dangerous use of mobile phones while driving are being enacted and enforced; pedestrian zones are being created in city centres; and emergency trauma care is being enhanced to ensure the prompt treatment of those with life-threatening injuries.

As the international community works to achieve the Millennium Development Goals by 2015, I call for more concerted action on road safety as part of the future development agenda.  This will be a vital component of efforts to improve health and save lives in the years ahead.

On this World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims, let us work to make more roads safe for all who use them.  Together, we can save millions of lives.

Source: United Nations

Statement of the Chair of the UN Road Safety Collaboration - Dr Etienne Krug

In the weeks leading up to this World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims, not a day has gone by without us hearing disturbing news of lives shattered by road traffic crashes: from major bus crashes in Kenya, Nepal and Peru, to just yesterday – the message from a father who lost his two-year old daughter when she was struck by a car as she ran after a ball.

My heart goes out to bereaved families and friends whose loved ones have been killed on the world’s roads this year.

The Decade of Action for Road Safety gives governments - and all of us - a platform to put concrete measures in place to prevent this loss of life.

I am encouraged by the actions being taken.

Countries like India, Mexico and New Zealand are assessing the state of their roads; New Car Assessment Programmes are highlighting gaps in the safety of vehicles; campaigns to prevent drink-driving are on-going in Brazil, Cambodia and Viet Nam, and to promote child car seats in the Russian Federation and motorcycle helmets in Yemen; and countries such as Mozambique, Romania and Thailand continue to improve their trauma care systems.

Despite progress, the WHO Global status report on road safety 2013 reminds us that much more is needed and that laws and their enforcement need to be strengthened everywhere if we are to have roads that are safe for all.

Let’s continue to work together to achieve the Decade’s goal of saving 5 million lives.

Source: United Nations

Why is there a need for this day?

Road deaths and injuries are sudden, violent, traumatic events, the impact of which is long-lasting, often permanent. Each year, millions of newly injured and bereaved people from every corner of the world are added to the countless millions already suffering as the result of a road crash.

The burden of grief and distress experienced by this huge number of people is all the greater because many of the victims are young, because many of the crashes could and should have been prevented and because the response to road death and injury and to victims and families is often inadequate, unsympathetic, and inappropriate to the loss of life or quality of life.

This special Remembrance Day is intended to respond to the great need of road crash victims for public recognition of their loss and suffering (see Messages & Thoughts from victims).

This day has also become an important tool for governments and all those whose work involves crash prevention or response to the aftermath, since it offers the opportunity to demonstrate the enormous scale and impact of road deaths and injuries and the urgent need for concerted action to stop the carnage.




Last updated on: 2013-11-28 | Link to this post