Public remembrance is not for the benefit of victims to remember what happened to them. Victims remember well what happened to them. Public reflection is the act of recognition.

Lusaka, Zambia- 15th November 2014 . The Zambian Road Safety Trust (ZRST) calls on the media, churches, organisations and individuals to observe this year’s World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic this Sunday, 16th November.

The World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims offers an annual opportunity to increase public awareness of the burden of road traffic collisions on communities, and to emphasize the need to initiate and promote efforts to control this major public health and development problem, and to assist victims. The Day focuses on the devastation caused by road traffic deaths, and on their impact on bereaved families and society. This devastating public health and development problem demands a more appropriate legal and societal response.

With over 3,500 people killed and more than 150,000 injured every day on the world’s roads, road death and injury represents a global disaster, which is however not receiving the serious attention warranted by its scale and cruel nature, hence the figures are predicted to grow further. Everyone can be affected.

In Zambia, road traffic deaths and injuries represent a serious and rapidly worsening public health crisis. Last year, 1,853 people were killed on the country’s roads. Most of those killed are young, in the prime of their lives, whose presence and contributions are greatly needed by their families and their country. The impact of such traumatic events is the cumulative toll of suffering, truly unimaginable since each year more people who are already affected and whose suffering is aggravated by inadequate response to their loss. As well as the emotional and psychological pain endured, losing a family member can put significant financial strain on a family.

The Zambian Road Safety Trust will honour victims of road crashes by conducting road safety pedestrian awareness education campaign on Wednesday, 19th November 2014 along Lumumba Road. Trained road safety instructors will educate vendors about their own road safety and also distribute road safety education materials supported by the World Health Organisation.

ZRST Chairman, Daniel Mwamba said:

“People bereaved and injured through a road crash, like other victims of violence and trauma, need public acknowledgement of their loss and suffering, which the observance of this World Remembrance Day offers. The remembrance day will promote the sharing of knowledge, and a greater commitment to road safety. I hope that collaboration between all relevant stakeholders and partners will lead to better care and support for victims, a reduction in the number of future victims, and improvement in road safety in our country.”