The World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims (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 and 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 marks the 25th anniversary of World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims (WDoR). In the year 2005 this event was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly with The World Health Organization (WHO) pledging its support two years earlier.
National Centre for Human Settlements and Environment (NCHSE), Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh) in partnership with Consumer Voice, New Delhi organized a discussion-cum-documentary film show on Road accident victims to observe the World Day of Remembrance for road traffic victims. The theme of the event was “Roads have Stories-Voices of Victims”. This was followed by a presentation in which views were expressed by the relatives of some of the victims. These presentations highlighted the reasons of accidents, including the lack of safety features in cars manufactured in India. A documentary film titled “Aakhir Kab Tak” was screened. The film stressed the importance of first aid to accident victims during the golden hour of the accidents. During the discussion participants expressed their views and some of them narrated their own stories, which reflected the need for stronger law to prevent and reduce road accidents and enable prompt help for the victims. A victim’s father narrated the incident of severe road accident which involved his son and his friend who were 10th standard students at that time of accident. He further stated that it would have been more disastrous had they been not taken to the hospital in the nick of time by a Good Samaritan. He concluded by saying that it is important that accident victims get immediate medical help after the accident. Mr. Harish Bhawnani, Convener, Bhopal Citizen Forum (Bureaucrats’ Forum) said that vehicles being manufactured in India lack essential safety features, which along with lack of pedestrian facilities in urban areas are the major reasons of road accidents.
NCHSE chairman Dr. Pradip Nandi said – “Road casualties are an epidemic and the governments can no longer afford to ignore. All avenues be it road design, licensing, driving skills, traffic management, vehicle design, policing, enforcement need to be addressed through a strong and comprehensive road safety legislation immediately.”