World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims 2016

Families mourn 400+ lives lost on Oregon roads in 2016 with vigil

WDR 2This past Sunday, November 20th, Oregon and SW Washington Families for Safe Streets, held a vigil on the Portland waterfront for the annual World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims (WDR). WDR is observed on the third Sunday of November each year, by an increasing number of countries on every continent around the world. This day is dedicated to remembering the many millions killed or injured in road crashes, their families and communities; as well as to pay tribute to the dedicated emergency crews, police and medical professionals who daily deal with the traumatic aftermath of road death and injury.

This year the members of Families for Safe Streets placed more than 400 shoes to honor those who have lost their lives on Oregon streets this year. Each pair of shoes represented a person who lost their life on Oregon roads in 2016 alone. Traffic fatalities in Oregon are up to 428 this year compared to last year’s 386 (year to date) and the group had to rush to get enough shoes in time for the vigil. Members of OR Families for Safe Streets hoped the vigil’s visuals would remind people that for each pair of shoes there is still someone who still mourns a loved one who no longer walks among us.

WDR 2016This vigil brought together advocates, loved ones of victims of crashes, the Portland Fire Chief, and Legacy Emanuel Hospital Trauma Nurses to bring light to the extent of the traumatic aftermath caused by a crash. Lieutenant Picard of Portland Fire and Rescue, addressed the crowd, “There are so many tragedies seared into my memory as a first responder.”

Susan Kubota, one of the founding members of OR Families for Safe Streets, called on the city and the state to take action, “Kristi, Kim, and I are the unwilling members of Families for Safe Streets. We demand change.”

This day has also become an important tool for governments and all those whose work involves crash prevention or response to the aftermath. WDR offers the opportunity to demonstrate the enormous scale and impact of road deaths and injuries, as well as the urgent need for concerted action to stop the carnage.

Stay up to date with Oregon and SW Washington Families for Safe Streets and their advocacy by liking them on Facebook and following them on Twitter.

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