Reflecting on World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims
This day focuses on both the overall scale and the individual devastation caused by road deaths and injuries, and the impact upon families and communities around the world.
Almost 4,000 people are killed and many hundreds of thousands injured on roads throughout the world every day. Many more have to cope with bereavement or the effects of injury, and thus become part of the huge group of people affected by road carnage.
World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims is for everyone killed and injured on the roads. At CTC, we especially think of vulnerable road users like cyclists and pedestrians.
This year, the 17 November came at the end of a very bad couple of weeks in which five cyclists died in London alone.
Memorial Ride to the Road Peace Memorial
There were two Remembrance Rides in the Birmingham area and I decided to join one organised by Jim Everett of the local organisation bike2life, to the RoadPeace Memorial at the National Memorial Arboretum. A group of us rode from Four Oaks Baptist Church along the quiet autumn lanes through Little Hay, Weeford and Whittington to the Arboretum where some others joined us for an event of prayer and reflection.
While we had a break in the Arboretum café, I picked up on Twitter the sad news about a 19 year-old cyclist killed overnight by a hit and run driver in Bath.
Back in Birmingham, another ride was organised by the Live in Hope Campaign. It was led by Nazan Fennell, whose daughter Hope was killed in Kings Heath High St by a truck whose driver was texting at the wheel in the moments beforehand. The Remembrance Ride went from Cannon Hill Park up the High St, where they held a brief 'die in' by the ghost bike which marks the spot where Hope was killed.
We will not forget those killed and seriously injured on the roads and the suffering of their friends and loved ones. But this important Day of Remembrance must spur us on in our campaigns for better legislation, Road Justice, safer roads, slower and reduced traffic, more properly segregated bike routes and a more determined approach to creating a safe environment for children, pedestrians and cyclists by central and local government.