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Honoring Road Traffic Victims On World Day Of Remembrance

In 2021, 42,915 people lost their lives on America’s roads. This is the highest number of roadway deaths in 16 years, a 10.5 percent increase from 2020, and the largest annual percentage increase in over 50 years. 

On Sunday, November 20th, millions of people around the world will honor the lives lost and impacted by road crashes during the World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims (WDoR). WDoR started in 2005 and is observed on the third Sunday of November each year. Many street safety organizations, like the Vision Zero Network and Families for Safe Streets chapters, come together to lead the charge in commemorating the day and provide a platform for recognizing road traffic victims and their families.

You can honor the World Day of Remembrance by hosting or participating in events taking place in your area, like a candlelight vigil, and by calling on local, state, and federal government for change. Across the U.S., Families for Safe Streets chapters will also hold a virtual candle lighting on Monday, November 21 at 8 pm EST. Learn more about Families for Safe Streets’ WDoR events on their website »

This year’s global WDoR slogan “REMEMBER. SUPPORT. ACT.” serves as a reminder that the day not only commemorates the people we have lost to traffic violence, it is also a time to take action to prevent the loss of even more lives. One way every place can take action to prevent further fatalities is by reducing traffic speeds and adopting low-speed streets. Prioritizing safety over speed has the potential to prevent many traffic deaths and serious injuries. Designing and slowing down our roads so that there are fewer opportunities for deadly collisions, and educating all people on how to safely share the road, not just bicyclists, is a crititcal way we can prevent more cars and trucks from killing and injuring people on our roadways.

It’s why the League continues to press leaders at the federal and state level to emphasize the Safe System approach to save lives (and we’ll have a lot more to say about slower speeds in the coming weeks!) 

Recently, we also launched our online, interactive Bicycle Friendly Driver training. The course educates motorists about how to drive around people biking and highlights other actions they can take to keep bicyclists safe like adopting the Dutch Reach to avoid opening a car door onto the path of a bicyclist. This training is available for free through our Online Learning Center.

As we approach WDoR, let us all take a moment or more to remember, to support, and to act. In addition to educating drivers on how to be safer road users, the League will continue to work with organizations like Families for Safe Streets to build safer environments, with slower streets and fewer devastated families. Please visit Families for Safe Streets’ site to learn more about events near you.