18 November 2007 From candlelight parades in Israel and a multi-faith gathering in Australia to theatre performances in Mexico and a seminar in Japan, people around the world are today marking the United Nations World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims.
Road crashes, the leading cause of death among people aged between 10 and 24, kill 1.2 million people worldwide every year and injure or disable up to 50 million others, and yet most accidents are preventable.
The UN World Health Organization (WHO) said many countries are holding “Remember and Reflect” activities in which candles are lit in homes and public spaces in honour of those killed, while others are conducting public awareness campaigns to promote the use of seatbelts and helmets, a reduction in speed and the avoidance of drink-driving.
In Mexico, more than 7,000 university students are expected to participate in theatre performances, photography and art exhibitions and related activities to promote the testing of blood alcohol content in drivers and vehicle inspections.
Israel's National Authority for Road Safety and several non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are holding a series of candlelight parades and gatherings while a multi-faith service for those suffering injury or bereavement because of road crashes will be held at Parliament House in Melbourne, Australia.
A seminar in Tokyo, Japan, is scheduled to examine how to help victims of road crashes navigate the country's criminal justice system while events are also taking place in Nigeria, South Africa, the United Kingdom and the United States among other countries.
In 2005 the UN General Assembly designated the third Sunday in November each year as the World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims.