November 15, 2020
It was 25 years ago that the World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims (WDoR) became an internationally recognized day dedicated to “remembering the millions who have been killed and seriously injured on the world’s roads and to acknowledge the suffering of all affected victims, families and communities.” Yet, road traffic injuries still remain the number one leading cause of death of people aged 5-29 years.
This year, AIP Foundation participated and led several events to commemorate, support, and advocate for road crash victims, their families, and their communities in observance of World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims.
Observing World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims with global network
AIP Foundation joined the World Health Organization (WHO) Thailand, UNESCAP, along with Network Partners for Traffic Accident Prevention from government and private sectors at the United Nation’s office in Bangkok to remember road traffic victims, promote road user awareness, and promote traffic accident reduction and prevention.
Two hundred participants joined together in a flower-laying ceremony to remember road traffic victims. Special guests included H.E. Åström Gröndahl, Swedish Ambassador in Thailand, Mr. Weimin Ren, Transport Division Director of UNESCAP, Mr. Surachai Liengboonlertchai, Senator in the Thai Parliament, and Dr. Theeranee Tachasrivichian of WHO Thailand.
“Let us all remember the 20,000 lives that were lost and 1,000,000 injured. Let us all send our support to 60,000 who are now disabled from crashes. I hope we will all partake in lessening the numbers and most importantly, save lives,” Swedish Ambassador, Jon Åström Gröndahl, said at the event.
Sustainable program leads to safer roads for children in China
In China, AIP Foundation organized an event at Qili Primary School, under the Walk Wise program, where 1,100 students, parents, teachers, school administrators and the Safety Director of Gaoqiao Primary School where participants learned about the significance of the WDoR and how the community can do their part in making roads safer. Students were given reflective safety caps, which allow them to be visible while walking to and from school and were provided pedestrian safety tools.
Ms. Xiaoyan Xu, China Country Manager of AIP Foundation expressed, “I can vividly remember the first time we launched the Walk Wise program eight years ago, it was also at Qili School, which means the students who were in grade one at the time are now in secondary school and the students who were in grade six are now in college or work. To see the work we’ve done have this level of sustainable impact for this new generation and with subsequent generations is truly rewarding.”
“There is no doubt that the Walk Wise program has brought great impact to the local community. The school still follows several different practices that were introduced under the program like walking school buses, wearing yellow caps, and conducting road safety classes and activities as part of the school’s general safety curriculum,” Mr. Mingchuan Yang, Principal of Qili Primary School revealed.
Engaging across sectors and communities in Vietnam
Through the Helmets for Kids program, AIP Foundation expanded to schools in three provinces as part of the program’s plan to improve road safety knowledge, provide high-quality helmets, increase helmet use among children, and educate school administrators and parents as key decision makers in children’s helmet use. The three-province expansion kicked off in Yen Bai Province, where more than 400 students and nearly 35 school administrators of Xuan Ai Primary School participated in interactive games and activities, watched a dance performance on helmet safety, and observed a demonstration on proper helmet use before receiving helmets.
AIP Foundation attended an event hosted by Ho Chi Minh City Traffic Safety Committee where more than 600 participants participated in placing white flowers to pray for those who passed from traffic crashes. Mr. Vo Van Hoan, Vice Chairman of Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee emphasized, “Nothing can be compensated for the loss of life. For that reason, each of us should strictly obey the traffic safety regulations, we must say no to drink-driving and speeding. We should always wear a helmet. There needs to be early education in schools about traffic safety and laws in order to create safer communities.”
AIP Foundation visited families of road crash victims to offer their support by spending time with families and offering to replace their current helmets with helmets that meet safety standards. Ms. Dung experienced the misfortune of losing her son and husband within 3 years. She sadly shared, “In 2017, my son, who was only 17 years old, passed away from a traffic crash on his way home. The pain of losing him was overwhelming; he was so young. Losing my husband, in the same way, made life inexplicably unbearable. I’ve lost everything.”
“People are not numbers and should not be treated as statistics. There are real lives at stake with many of those lives being young children, youth, and young adults who have yet to really see the world or their lives play out. Road crashes are preventable. To do nothing, to not work towards making safer roads for the segment of the population who will eventually inherit the world that we live in and roads we use, is to prevent them from living and thriving. AIP Foundation is committed to positive change until every child can live and move safely on their roads,” Mrs. Mirjam Sidik, CEO of AIP Foundation expressed.
A message from the United Nations
Remember. Support. Act.
The objectives of the World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims 2020 (#WDoR2020) are to provide a platform for road traffic victims and their families to:
To view more photos from the events, please click here.