World Day of Remembrance for Traffic Victims

                          Sunday, November 18                                  

                  WORLD DAY OF REMEMBRANCE FOR TRAFFIC VICTIMS                       

               Argentina: 150,000 deaths in 20 years

This day, established by the United Nations, is aimed at remembering the millions of traffic victims all over the world. In Argentina, in the last 20 years, at least 150,000 people died because of this cause and millions have been injured, a lot of them suffering permanent handicaps. However, victim’s loved ones, who suffered the sudden lost of a close person, with its enormous burden of suffering and changes in their lives, also deserve to be remembered. In our country, no war or natural disaster has caused a tragedy of these proportions.

For this day, Luchemos por la Vida, committed the whole year to the prevention of traffic accidents, promotes the memory of the victims in the christian churches and temples of other religions, from all over the country, through messages and the distribution of awareness posters, apart from joining the blow of the siren that voluntary fire stations will carry out that day, at 12.

But, the best tribute that, we as a society, can pay to these victims is to do all that is necessary so that fatalities as these, that can be avoided, never happen again. Giving priority to life on streets and roads by means of a sustainable mobility planning is a cry that is heard around the world.

Following these ideas, the United Nations has launched the “Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011/20” to motivate all governments, non-governmental organizations, companies and the whole society to commit themselves to undertake “concrete actions” to decrease significantly the number of fatalities and injuries as a result of traffic accidents in that period of time.  In Argentina, apart from the responsibility of each individual, the Government has an inescapable responsibility. That is why, from Luchemos por la Vida, we reiterate our request:

Traffic safety must continue to be affirmed as a matter of state policy; through coordinate efforts and joint decisions of the authorities at national, province and municipal levels, who are responsible for this matter. It is urgently needed that the following measures are implemented all around the country, with continuity and coherence, to save lives and without aiming at a financial gain:  

-Effective controls on streets and routes, to ensure practical compliance with the law (i.e., an effective control of speeding, drunk driving, seatbelt and helmet use, etc.) and effective punishment of offenders.

- Ensuring an adequate driver training and serious and responsible management of the issuance of drivers’ licenses all over the country.

-The implementation of the systematic and ongoing traffic safety education must be a reality in the curricula and classrooms at all levels (pre-school, elementary school, middle school) all around the country.

-Urban planning that helps make traffic flow orderly and realization of necessary investments to achieve a safe and efficient public transportation (railways, routes, and so on).

The International Traffic and Medicine Association