World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims 2021: History, Theme and Significance

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Approximately 1.3 million people die each year from fatal road traffic crashes and between 20 and 50 million more people suffer non-fatal injuries, with many incurring a disability, as per World Health Organization (WHO) fact sheet. The data also highlights how traffic injuries are the leading cause of death for children and young adults aged 5-29 years.

Not only it leads to deaths but also costs countries serious economic loss. Road accidents cost most countries 3% of their gross domestic product (GDP).

In India, road accidents led to 1,51,000 lives lost in 2019 and these fatalities remain a serious cause of concern.


The World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims was started by RoadPeace in 1993 to highlight it as a serious issue that needs to be addressed. In 2005, the United Nations endorsed it as a global day to be observed every third Sunday in November each year to acknowledge the victims of road traffic injuries and their families. Since then the World Day of Remembrance has been observed and promoted worldwide by many governments, international agencies and groups.


It is a day of remembrance of all the people around the world who lost their lives, limbs or suffered serious injured on the roads everywhere.

Alongside, on this day we also acknowledge the crucial work of the emergency services; highlight the generally trivial legal response to road deaths and injuries, advocate for better support for victims and their families, and promote evidence-based actions to prevent these tragedies.

The United Nations General Assembly has also set an ambitious target of halving the global number of deaths and injuries from road traffic crashes by 2030 by collaborating on road safety with countries.


The World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims 2021 seeks to promote the driving at low speed, and thereby avoid rash driving which causes the most accidents, especially among the aforementioned vulnerable groups.

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