The World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims was originated in 1993 by RoadPeace as a response to road crash victims’ need for public recognition, which appears to be more readily given to victims of other types of crime, disaster or war. It is also a day to commend the work of those involved in the aftermath of a crash – including fire, police and ambulance teams, doctors, nurses and counsellors.
On 26 October 2005, the United Nations General Assembly called on all Member States to adopt and recognise the third Sunday in November of every year as the World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims. The UN believes this is an appropriate acknowledgement for victims and families of road traffic crashes and also a way to draw attention to the consequences and costs of road crashes and to measures that can be taken to prevent them. Its aim is to remind governments and individual members of society of their responsibility to make roads safer.
The World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims is now observed in countries in every continent of the world.
In November 2009, government ministers from around the world met for the first time to discuss an ambitious ten year plan for road safety, their commitment to a Decade of Action to save lives on our roads. The UN recognises the need for urgent action, unable to accept the prediction that if left to continue road fatalities will soon become the leading cause of death worldwide.