World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims is recognized globally for prominent efforts to reduce road casualties. It offers an opportunity for drawing attention to the scale of the emotional and economic devastation caused by road crashes and for giving recognition to the suffering of road crash victims and the work of support, rescue services, and law enforcement.
The City of Charlotte has adopted Vision Zero, a strategy to eliminate all traffic-related deaths and severe injuries while increasing safety, health, and mobility for all. The Mayor proclaimed Charlotte a Vision Zero city in March 2019. The Charlotte Department of Transportation leads a community-wide effort to implement its 2019 Vision Zero Action Plan.
Vision Zero is an injury reduction strategy, not a crash reduction strategy. There will always be transportation users who make errors and use poor judgment, but those errors should not be fatal. We spoke with three families who unfortunately lost a loved one to road traffic violence and are a part of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department’s Traffic Fatality Support Group. We would like to remember and share their lost loved one’s story on this World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims.
01:14 - Bonnie Mitchell's brother, Karim Abdul Akbar
07:20 - Cora Hilliard's son, Jamel Hilliard
18:14 - William Ratliff's daughter, Sierra Ratliff
Together, we must act to ensure that all users of the roadway system are loved ones and actively avoid risks such as speeding, driving impaired, and not wearing a seatbelt. We must redesign roads with all users in mind, not just vehicles. And, ensure that vehicles everywhere are equipped with life-saving technologies. This year’s World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims highlights the fact that even after a road traffic crash occurs there is still an enormous opportunity to save lives and reduce disability. Additionally, challenge yourself to stop using the word “accident.” Traffic crashes are fixable problems. They are not accidents. Let’s stop using the word "accident" today.
On this World Day of Remembrance, let us honor in the best way possible, those who have lost their lives and take the urgent steps needed to make our roads safe for all. Because even one traffic fatality is too many.