Sunday 17th November marked the World Day of Remembrance for Crash Victims. Services up and down the country were held to remember loved ones and reflect on the grief and misery that is inflicted upon society by road danger.
RoadPeace would like to thank all those who attended. Although the number of people who came represents a tiny fraction of the number of people killed and seriously injured on Britain’s roads, the ITV report of the London service referred to the Church as ‘packed’. A reminder that remembrance is something which is sorely needed.
The largest services were held in Durham, Liverpool, Birmingham, Bath and London. Audiences heard from the emergency services, politicians and most importantly – victims themselves. In several instances, such as at the Liverpool service, politicians were victims too. They heard from Jane Kennedy, the Police and Crime Commissioner, whose son was seriously injured in a motorbike crash.
At the Birmingham service, Mandy Gordon Gayle and Lesley Bates told their stories – thank you for your bravery and courage.
Special thanks also to Jack and Nilima who spoke at the London service. Jack talked of the crash that killed his two friends and left him with serious injuries, and Nilima of the death of her husband.
RoadPeace is very grateful to all of the victims who shared their stories on World Day of Remembrance. Your voices are the loudest in affecting change, and not only were they heard by the politicians and decision makers in attendance at the services, they were also covered extensively in the media.
RoadPeace is also encouraged by the messages of support we received.
Dame Vera Baird, Victims Commissioner for England and Wales, said
“I am grateful for the opportunity to offer my support to all those taking part in the 2019 World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims. I would like to pay tribute to RoadPeace and the other organisations who work so tirelessly to support families who have lost loved ones in road deaths. Coming to terms with the death of someone you love in such tragic circumstances is a huge struggle, but the support offered by organisations such as RoadPeace, is invaluable in helping families cope with the enormity of their loss.
I also want to acknowledge the amazing work of the emergency services in dealing with the aftermath of a road crash, supporting the bereaved and the injured.
The Day of Remembrance offers an opportunity for families to come together and provide mutual support while at the same time, making sure those who have died are never forgotten.
It is also a poignant reminder to all drivers of the need to put safety first, above all other considerations, when behind the wheel. We must not rest until fatal road collisions are a thing of the past.”
The office of the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, also sent a message, saying:
“The opportunity to remember those who have been killed or injured on our roads and to show our appreciation for the emergency services who demonstrate such compassion, commitment and professionalism in their respective roles is important. The World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims allows us to do just that.”
The World Day of Remembrance remains a stark reminder of the toll of road death and injury. Perhaps the hardest thing about this day, is that next year we know there will new families in attendance, who have been bereaved in the coming twelve months.