World Day of Remembrance 2023 was commemorated on 19 November 2023 and was marked by online and in-person events around the world.
The World Health Organization (WHO) hosted a social media live chat on 17 November 2023. The live event was a question and answer session on the status of road safety around the world and what needs to be done to ensure safer roads.
The session featured Etienne Krug (Director Social Determinants of Health at WHO); Afef Ben Ghenia (Alliance member and Founder of the Les Ambassadeurs de la Sécurité Routière in Tunisia); Daniel Langenkamp (Public Affairs Officer, US Department of State); and Celia Rodriguez (YOURS youth leader and Founder of the Asociación de Prevención y Atención de la Seguridad Integral en el Tránsito in Guatemala).
Alliance members from across the world commemorated the World Day of Remembrance, using the opportunity to push forward their relentless advocacy for improving road safety. They said what the World Day of Remembrance meant to them and why it is so important to their work.
“The World Day of Remembrance is a critical part of making people aware of the consequences of road crashes. The trauma experienced by the families of victims and those that are injured needs to be acknowledged. To commemorate the day, we organized an event where various speeches were delivered on the severity of the situation of poor road safety and the need for evidence-based actions to combat the situation. As a member of the African Union Commission and one of the few countries in Africa that have ratified the African Union Road Safety Charter, Namibia sees this day as an opportunity to drive the Road Safety message home nationally.” – Horst Heimstädt ,CEO of the Namibia Road Safety Forum
“The World Day of Remembrance is an important day for us to focus our advocacy on reducing road traffic deaths and injuries in line with the Global Plan targets. It provides a platform for us to not just remember road traffic victims and their families but to seek commitment on actions to reduce and prevent road traffic crashes.” – Prince Ogu, President, RAPNEC Nigeria
“It is important to highlight the seriousness of recognizing the World Day of Remembrance by governments so that leaders understand that death and serious injury including physical disability and psychological trauma affects quality of life, autonomy, and the self-esteem of victims and their families. Road crashes have an impact on society since the costs related to medical treatments, rehabilitation, long-term care, and loss of work productivity are substantial.” – Eleni Karidi, EFTHITA, Greece
“The World Day of Remembrance serves as a poignant moment to reflect on the devastating impact of road traffic crashes on families and communities, as well as an opportunity to honour and remember those who have lost their lives on our roads. This day reinforces our commitment to advocating for child safety and underscores the urgency of our mission to prevent road traffic injuries and fatalities involving children. By actively participating in commemorations and discussions, we aim to influence policy decisions, raise awareness, and build partnerships that will contribute to our overarching goal of making roads safer for children.” – Zaitoon Rabaney, Executive Director, ChildSafe South Africa
“For the World Day of Remembrance, we paid tribute to the lives lost from road traffic crashes and conducted road safety awareness training for tribal women in the tribal village of Khemrejia and safe driving training for truck drivers.” – Prakash Chauhan, Naisargik Trust, India
“For our organization, the World Day of Remembrance is a solemn occasion that aligns with our commitment to road safety. It provides an opportunity to engage with the community and stakeholders to raise awareness about the importance of safe road practices. It serves as a platform to advocate for policies and initiatives that prioritize road safety. This day also encourages our organization to assess our own role in promoting safety and explore ways in which we can contribute to reducing road traffic crashes. It reinforces our dedication to supporting victims and their families while working towards a future where road crashes are minimized, and every journey is a safe one.” – Richard Young Owere, Executive Director, LRS Initiative, Uganda
“The World Day of Remembrance is the cornerstone on which our organization was built. It so important for us because the aim of our advocacy is to help in reducing the number of road victims. To commemorate this day, we paid visits to roads victims in the main hospital of our country and shared compassion and gifts to them. The fact that this commemoration takes place towards the end of the year and on the eve of the end-of-year holidays allows us to attract the attention of the government on the need for safer roads.” – AVA TOGO
“This day has a great meaning for road safety ambassadors in Tanzania, as it is another opportunity to assess the safety of road users in Tanzania, to evaluate the efforts made by stakeholders in strengthening road safety and to plan more strategies to strengthen road safety. It is a day that road safety ambassadors use to spread the word about road safety as well as show love to victims of road traffic crashes.” – Ramadhani Msangi, RSA Tanzania
“On the World Day of Remembrance, we join in remembering our loved ones which spurs us to unite as a community to keep pushing so that more lives are not lost on our roads. On this day, we join victims´ families to create awareness on the banks of Rio de la Plata where we give kites with yellow stars to children which signifies the lives lost from road traffic crashes. We speak to the children and tell them that we don´t want another star in the sky, we tell them to fly their kites up very high so everyone can see that they represent our loved ones.” – Viviam Perrone, Asociación Madres del Dolor, Argentina
In Argentina, Bien Argentino ONG lit up candles in memory of road traffic victims and spread the message on WDoR through different media. “The World Day of Remembrance is a very emotional day for us, a day of reflection and giving love to families. It is an important day to draw attention and make people aware of the importance of taking care of life by improving safety on our roads.” – Sandra Torres, President, Bien Argentino
“The World Day of Remembrance is an important event to highlight the gravity and magnitude of road safety issues. It gives us an opportunity to share the plight and trauma of road crash injuries to enforcement officials, stakeholders, and wider communities. This day is critical to our advocacy efforts and helps us to highlight road safety issues, garner support from communities especially victims, and pressurize decisionmakers and law enforcement agencies to prioritize road safety and work towards elimination of deaths and serious injuries from road crashes.” – Sandeep Gaikwad, Senior Program Associate, Parisar, India.
“World Day of Remembrance represents a day of deep thought for victims of road traffic crashes and their families and gives us an opportunity to raise awareness on the impact of road traffic crashes on people’s lives and future. Through the memory of those we have lost, coupled with awareness and responsibility, we can build commitment to build our cities in a way that makes it safer for lives to be preserved.” – Casimir Migan, ALINAGNON, Benin Republic
“The majority of those who die are young people, whose presence and contribution are greatly needed by their families and the people around them. The commemoration of this day provides the opportunity to increase public awareness regarding the cost of traffic events for civil society, and to emphasize the need to initiate and promote efforts to control this important health and development problem, and provide support to victims.” – Esther Soto, Vice President of FICVI
“We use the World Day of Remembrance for road safety advocacy, calling on people in China and globally to promote road safety and save lives. Road traffic crashes occur daily around the world leading to loss of lives and injuries; therefore we must act now to save lives.” – Monica Cui, Executive Director, Safe Kids China
“The World Day of Remembrance remind us at AIP Foundation how dangerous roads are particularly for vulnerable groups around the world. The high number of deaths from road crashes, particularly in developing countries, makes us think that citizens are not sufficiently protected. In Thailand, 80% of deaths occurs among low to middle low socio-economic groups i.e., motorbike users and youngsters. These people are less privileged and have little voice in the society. This day is an opportunity for road safety communities to come together and be reminded of the importance of our work. It also encourages us to think more concretely of how to systematically tackle the problems in our specific road safety areas.” – Ratanawadee Winther, AIP Foundation, Thailand
For MOVES El Salvador, the World Day of Remembrance holds deep significance as it underscores the critical importance of road safety, honoring lives lost, and driving commitment to advocate for safer roads through awareness, policy, and action. “The World Day of Remembrance aligns seamlessly with our organization’s core mission and advocacy for road safety. It provides a focal point to highlight the human toll of road traffic accidents, reinforcing the urgency of our work. Through events like round tables and social media campaigns, we leverage this day to raise awareness, engage stakeholders, and drive home the importance of proactive measures. It serves as a powerful annual reminder of the need for sustained efforts in policy advocacy, public education, and collaborative initiatives to make roads safer for everyone.” – Vanessa Rubio, Director of MOVES, El Salvador
“The World Day of Remembrance is a compelling reminder to open our eyes to the reality of lives lost daily on our roads. It points us to the need for commitment to a safety culture in road use that addresses the profound importance of safeguarding life. While cars and damages are replaceable, a life lost is irreplaceable, affecting families, friends, and communities deeply. To commemorate the day, we made a short film, a podcast, and three radio interviews to open dialogues on Road Safety.” – Jaime Bringas García, Co-founder and Road Safety Advisor, Asociación Mexicana de Administradores de Flotilla de Automóviles A.C.
“The World Day of Remembrance is a solemn reminder that our journey toward road safety demands unwavering commitment and daily effort. Our organization is dedicated to the overarching goal of zero victims on the roads. This day holds paramount importance as it sheds light on the vital need to bring visibility to the victims, creating awareness about the harsh reality of road crashes. Commemorating this day, we actively disseminated the significance and recognition of victims through our social networks and contacts.” – Observatorio Criminologico De La Seguridad Vial, Spain
“The World Day of Remembrance serves as a stark reminder that there is still a long way to go, and we should never relent in our ongoing efforts for safer roads, despite all difficulties and constraints. This day signifies the need to work harder every year and all the time to help save lives and provide sustainable solutions in road safety and mobility. Remembering those who have left us is an additional motivation to keep their memory alive through our innovative actions, contributing to the goal of ensuring everyone stays safe on the road.” – Georges Metni, Founder/President of Adel Metni Foundation, Lebanon
“Road deaths and injuries stop millions of people from realizing their full potential, and this disproportionately affects young people and the poor and the young, further creating poverty among victims’ families. This year, we used the opportunity of the World Day of Remembrance to advocate for policies and laws to improve road safety and reduce casualties. Through a webinar that involved key stakeholders from government and the civil society, we highlighted the significance of the day and the need to continue working on reducing road traffic crashes, injuries and deaths.” – Iffat Rubaiyat, Senior Officer, BRAC, Bangladesh
“Considering that the establishment of Road Safety Institute (RSI) “Panos Mylonas” was fueled by a tragic loss, this day holds even greater significance for all of us on the significant impact road traffic crashes have on families. To commemorate this day, we hosted a blood run to support a blood bank which we founded in 2013, dedicated for road traffic victims as we continue to advocate for and actively promote a world without road traffic crashes.” – Karatsori Niki, Communication Officer, Road Safety Institute (RSI) “Panos Mylonas”
“Our hearts go out to the families of road crash victims and first responders this World Day of Remembrance. iRAP continues to support this important day as we pause to #RememberSupportAct for 3-star or better roads for all road users. We work with partners worldwide to make sure new roads are safe and high-risk existing roads are financed and improved on a scale that matters. Together, we will ensure safe roads for all road users aligned with important global agendas focused on road safety, transport, and urban mobility.” – Briarlea Green, Communications Officer, International Road Assessment Programme
“The World Day of Remembrance is an opportunity for us to draw attention to the scale of emotional and economic devastation caused by road crashes and for giving recognition to the suffering of road crash victims and the work of support and rescue services. On this day, we call for an end to the often trivial and inappropriate response to road death and injury and advocate for urgent concerted action to stop the carnage. We also pay tribute to the dedicated emergency crews, police and medical professionals, who deal daily with the traumatic aftermath of road crashes.” – Fred Tumwine, Executive Director, URRENO
“Tunde was a university student who was traveling from Lagos to his hometown in Ondo State after finishing his last year of studies to serve in the National Youth Service Corps. A road traffic crash occurred halfway to his town, claiming numerous lives. Tunde, on the other hand, was still alive, but with a swollen forehead, an arm cut, and an ugly cut on his leg. He died because he lost so much blood before aid arrived. We are committed to ensuring that a Tunde crisis is as minimal as possible. We remember Tunde with a sorrowful heart as we continue to ensure improvement in road safety and nationwide implementation of first aid systems for road traffic victims.” – Health Emergency Initiative, Nigeria
“This day is symbolic for me and my organization, which was created following the death of my brother Nabil BEN GHENIA from a tragic road traffic crash. The World Day of Remembrance serves as a yearly reminder of why we’re here and what we’re fighting for, and to reflect on what we’ve done so far to save lives on our roads. This day is a key date because it presents an avenue to further put pressure on our decision-makers to allocate more priority to road safety.” – Ms. Afef Ben Ghenia, Présidente de l’ASR
“The World Day of Remembrance holds immense significance for our organization and aligns with our core mission to promote road safety and reduce traffic-related incidents. This global observance emphasizes the need for collective efforts to create safer road environments and instill a sense of responsibility among all road users. It is seamlessly integrated into our ongoing work and advocacy efforts as we are committed to fostering a culture of safety and responsibility on the roads, which this global observance serves as a catalyst for renewed energy and dedication.” – Mr. Sujay K, Coordinator, SiRST India
“The World Day Remembrance is an important day for us to reflect on the dangers of the ‘virus’ called road crashes. We specifically use this day to remember school children in the developing world like Nigeria who have died and are still dying daily from road crashes on our busy roads and highways. It strengthens our resolve to enlarge the scope of our collaboration with international communities to prevent and reduce fatalities through evidence-based actions.” –Winifred Orji, Director Liaison Children Accident Prevention Initiative, Nigeria
“The World Day of Remembrance gives us the opportunity to seamlessly integrate our commitment to road safety into impactful initiatives. On this day, we leverage the power of social media campaigns to amplify our message. Through informative and engaging content, our online presence serves as a catalyst for spreading awareness on the importance of road safety. By combining hands-on workshops with the support of our digital platforms, we strive to make a lasting impact, inspiring a collective commitment to safer driving practices.” – Maria Lovelock, Road Safety Education, New Zealand
“The World Day of Remembrance holds profound significance for our organization as it is a crucial opportunity to reflect on lives lost and advocate for enhanced road safety. This global day of commemoration is a solemn occasion that resonates deeply with our mission and objectives, and our contribution to the global dialogue on road safety and reinforcing the importance of preventive measures. It is a pivotal moment to engage policymakers, get public support, and catalyze action towards creating safer road environments.” – Tatiana Mihailova, Director/Project Manager, Automobile Club of Moldova/ProtectMD Foundation
“The World Day of Remembrance holds great importance as it provides an opportunity to pay tribute to our loved ones. This day allows us to continually bring attention to the substantial number of lives lost in entirely preventable incidents. Understanding that road safety is a shared responsibility, it emphasizes the profound pain of never being able to embrace a child, parent, mother, and so forth.” – Fabiana Marillan, Estrellas de Neuquén
“The World Day of Remembrance signifies a pivotal moment for us at GreenLight Initiative to amplify our endeavors, mobilize support, and advocate for systemic changes that will make roads safer for everyone. It serves as a day of remembrance, education, and action towards preventing further tragedies on our roads. We consider it an advocacy day for road safety. The World Day of Remembrance seamlessly integrates into our organizational work and advocacy by fueling our efforts to advocate for policy changes, enhanced infrastructure, and stricter enforcement of road safety regulations to reduce road traffic collisions, promote safer driving practices, and sustainable mobility.” – Simon Patrick Obi, Founder and Executive Director, GreenLight Initiative, Nigeria
“On this day, we join efforts to contribute to raising awareness among people, as well as comforting the families of the victims of road crashes. We are reminded that every day there are people whose lives are drastically changed by road crashes. We want zero road victims and that one day we will never hear a siren again. The commemoration of this day provides an opportunity to raise public awareness of the cost of road traffic incidents and to emphasize the need to initiate and promote efforts to control this major health and development problem, and to provide support to victims.” – Fernanda Espinosa Arcega, Líder Fundación Aleatica para la Seguridad Vial, Mexico
“The World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims provides an opportunity to spotlight the huge extent and impact of tragedies on the road and to advocate for urgent and concerted action to achieve the goals of Vision 0. It is a day that offers the opportunity to push for coordinated action across the road safety pillars to achieve sustained reduction in road traffic injuries and fatalities.” – Bulgarian Road Safety Association
Dr. Etienne Krug, Chair of the United Nations Road Safety Collaboration, has released a statement commemorating the World Day of Remembrance, stating that “the best way to honor the lives of those lost on the world’s roads is to do better road safety management, better legislation and enforcement, better road and vehicle design, and better emergency care systems. We owe this to all who have been needlessly lost on the world’s roads and the families who live without them.”