Remembrance For Road Traffic Victims

Yesterday I observed the World Day of Remembrance for Road Victims with a special meditation on suffering. The unofficial holiday began as a European Federation of Road Traffic Victims in 1995. A decade later, the Remembrance was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly as the appropriate acknowledgement for victims and their families. Many governments and NGOs now officially observe this event around the globe by advocating for traffic safety and victims.

For those of us who have lost loved ones to traffic accidents, we don’t need a special reminder of our losses, because the memories of our family members and/or friends remain in our hearts regardless of red letter days. For those who were seriously injured, physically or emotionally, the trauma is real with recovery being an ongoing process. It is important to remember to pay tribute to the many dedicated police, emergency crews, and medical professionals who regularly deal with the aftermaths of traffic crashes.

Because traffic accidents are common, everyday news events, it’s easy to forget that many millions of people have been seriously injured or killed on the world’s highways and streets. Millions of victims are added each year to this obscene, tragic toll. In this regard, it’s important to promote the commemoration to the general public as a cautionary reminder to demonstrate the enormous impact and scale of traffic deaths and serious injuries.

The fact that people are killed or seriously harmed each day is part of the reason we have strict laws against alcohol/drugged driving, texting while driving, and distracted driving. It only takes a split second for tragedy to be either averted or not. Life changing and life ending traffic crashes happen each and every day; therefore, it is appropriate to call for assertive, concerted action to curb the carnage.

This is no small matter for me, personally. A few decades ago, I lost my boyfriend, Takeo to a multi-vehicle pile-up on a freeway during rush hour. He was killed instantly, and my life was changed forever. I’ll never forget how his death continually affects his family and close friends. The funeral was a symbolic way of letting go, but the loss of a loved one is always remembered. Everyday, a fond memory of Takeo pops into my mind.

In a different traffic accident, I lost a second cousin, her husband, and two children. On a mild, sunny day, their SUV was broadsided by a car in Lincoln, Nebraska. The loss was immense for the surviving child. Our families will never forget the loss of members of that family. Each year we pay special tribute to their memory.

It is by way of these memories that I acknowledge the fact that millions of other people are affected each day in some way by traffic accidents. Although every day should be marked with reminders to be careful and mindful when driving, riding a bike, or walking as a pedestrian; we need a special annual holiday to remind the public why traffic safety is of utmost importance.

Even if a traffic death does not affect you in the present, there is a better than even chance that a traffic death or serious injury might happen to a loved one or somebody you know in the future. If you have been harmed in a traffic accident or if you have lost loved ones in a crash, my heart goes out to you.


The Blue Jay of Happiness quotes author, computer scientist, and entrepreneur, Eric “Astro” Teller. “Most of us have to spend a lot of energy to learn how to drive a car. Then we have to spend the rest of our lives over-concentrating as we drive and text and eat a burrito and put on makeup. As a result, 30,000 people die every year in a car accident in the U.S.”

About swabby429

An eclectic guy who likes to observe the world around him and comment about those observations.
This entry was posted in cultural highlights, Hometown, Transportation and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Remembrance For Road Traffic Victims

  1. Even though most people never think about it, death or serious bodily injury is a possibility whenever we get in a car. I’ve been in several serious accidents over the years. One was caused by my negligence. Fortunately, never any injuries. The most serious one occurred in high school when I was T-boned by a drunk driver who ran a red light at a blind intersection. My car was totaled, and I wasn’t wearing a seatbelt. The a–hole had the nerve to threaten to sue. The police never charged him.

    I can’t wait for self-driving cars.

    Condolences on the loss of your boyfriend and to all who have suffered losses or injuries through traffic accidents.

    • swabby429 says:

      Thank you. It’s easy to forget that our vehicles are heavy projectiles that can travel at high speeds and can easily injure us or someone else. This is why it pays to be mindful and alert when behind the wheel.

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