The World Health Organisation (WHO) and Global NGO Alliance choose a theme for each year, based on actions proposed in the Global Plan for the Decade. The theme for 2015 is ‘It’s time to remember – say no to road crime!’ The aim is to improve road users’ behaviour and enforcement of laws through public awareness and education; reducing speeding, drink-driving and other dangerous behaviours, while ensuring safety precautions such as seat belts and helmets are adhered to.
The importance of such a day is demonstrated in the staggering figures that each year nearly 1.3 million people die as a result of a road traffic collision, meaning there are more than 3,000 deaths each day, with over half of these being pedestrians, cyclists and other vulnerable road users. Twenty to fifty million more people sustain non-fatal injuries from a collision, and these injuries are a cause of disability worldwide.
Each year, millions of newly injured and bereaved people from every corner of the world are added to the countless millions already suffering as the result of a road traffic accident. For those involved and their family and friends affected, this day offers an opportunity to come together for remembrance services and flower-laying ceremonies held in memory of victims around the world.
The key message for the day is to ‘Remember and Reflect, Remember and Respond’ as the day provides an opportunity to increase the world’s awareness of road traffic accidents, their consequences and costs, and the measures which can be taken to prevent them. The day also provides an opportunity to remind governments and society of their responsibility to make roads safer.
As a road user, there are steps you can take to reduce the risk of an accident and improve safety for other road users:
- Never speed or tailgate;
- Never go through red lights;
- Never drink or drug-drive;
- Never hit and run;
- Never use a phone while driving or any other distractions;
- Always wear a seatbelt and helmet;
- Give more consideration to vulnerable road users;
- Install speed limiters and black boxes in your own car;
- Support the European Road Safety Charter;
- Support the Campaign for global road safety;
- Obey the 15 commandments of ‘Courtesy at the wheel’