The World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims (WDR) commemorated worldwide on the Third Sunday of November each year will be marked on November 20 this year to remember the many millions killed and injured on the world’s roads, together with their families, friends and well wishers who have been traumatised and are made to bear emotional and financial burdens, in addition to leaving gravely injured or permanently disabled survivors.

“The World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims (WDR) was initiated by the road traffic victims in 1993 and is dedicated to remembering all those killed and injured on the worlds roads and all those affected by their death or serious injury/permanent disability. The United Nations had endorsed it in the year 2005 as a global day, making it a major advocacy day for road traffic injury prevention.” said Mr K K Kapila, Chairman, Geneva based International Road Federation,(IRF) a global body pursuing the mission of safe roads and safe road mobility.

“The UN believes that a day of remembrance is a way to draw attention to the consequences and economic loss on account of road traffic crashes and to put in place measures that can be taken to prevent them. Its aim is to remind governments and individual members of the society of their responsibility to make the roads safer. Only then will the United Nations goals under the ‘UN Decade of Action’ envisaging a target of reducing road accident deaths world wide by 50 Per Cent by the year 2020 be achieved.” said Mr Kapila.

“India has signed many International agreements on traffic and road safety issues including United Nation’s Decade of Action for Road Safety across the world. India is also signatory to recently adopted ‘The Brasilia Declaration’ by various countries, which recommends the actions that must be taken in order to reach the goals of the Decade and the targets of the Sustainable Development Goals. But the number of fatal road accidents in India are on constant increase. During the year 2015 about 1,46,133 people died in 501,423 road accidents, an increase of almost five percent from 2014, while half a million more were injured as per data released by Ministry of Road Transport and Highway’s (MoRTH ) “said Mr Kapila.

“ More than 10% of the world’s road deaths take place on India’s killer roads — which account for less than 3% of the world’s vehicles and many road accidents go unreported and unaccounted for. What is more worrying is the sharp and continued rise in road fatalities over the past decade. Lakhs of fatalities and serious injuries on Indian roads could have been saved if recommended road safety actions are adopted and adhered to by the concerned stakeholders” added Mr Kapila.

Mr. Kapila further added that ‘’The Brasilia Declaration’’ which recommends that the countries should taken appropriate road safety enhancing actions to reach the UN Decadal Goals as well as the ‘’Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)’. These actions include Stronger road safety management, legislation and enforcement, promotion of safer roads and sustainable modes of transport, protection of vulnerable road users, development and promotion of safer vehicles, increased awareness and capacity of road users, Improvements in post-crash response and rehabilitation services, Strengthened cooperation and coordination towards global road safety, and up scaling of financing for road safety.”.

Welcoming the efforts of the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH), Mr. Kapila said “the amendments to the Moto Vehicle Act (MVA) intended to check drunken driving, use of mobile phone and over speeding through suitable penalties will go a long in addressing the issue of road accidents. The efforts to fast track setting up Trauma Centres/facilities across the country by the Ministry of Health will complement the efforts of the MoRTH. Funding for this efforts to be enhanced.”

“The world day of Remembrance observed world wide, is intended to respond to the great need of road crash victims for public recognition of their loss and suffering and an important tool for reminding the governments and public at large to demonstrate the enormous scale and impact of road death and injury and the urgent need for action.” Said Mr Kapila.

“Road accidents and resultant deaths and injuries are a national problem that must be addressed immediately as the damage caused is enormous in terms of lives and injuries sustained on victims and the huge cost to treat over 5,00,000 who get injured other than deaths. ” he added.