On Wednesday, October 25, 2023, the Massachusetts Vision Zero Coalition hosted a Webinar about World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims. World Day of Remembrance is an annual international event when people can gather together to reflect on those we've lost or who have been injured in a traffic crash and commit ourselves to improving our state’s roads. It is held on the third Sunday each November.
At the time of the webinar, 275 people had lost their lives on Massachusetts roadways in 2023. The Vision Zero Coalition is working with advocates and those impacted by road traffic crashes to host events and honor crash victims across Massachusetts during World Day of Remembrance on November 19th. The webinar's goal was to encourage advocates across the Commonwealth to participate in hosting events or engaging in individual actions.
The webinar included several members of the Vision Zero Coalition: Galen Mook of MassBike, Catherine Gleason of LivableStreets Alliance, Emily Stein of the Safe Roads Alliance, and Brendan Kearney of WalkMassachusetts. Galen discussed previous events hosted by Vision Zero Coalition for World Day of Remembrance and examples of actions taken by advocates and municipalities across the Commonwealth in recognition of the day. Emily Stein shared how you use the IMPACT Crash Portal to find crashes in your area and how data is a powerful tool to advocate for life-saving changes to your local roadways.
Betsy Johnson of WalkBike Springfield and Judy Proctor, mother of Charlie Proctor, discussed their experiences planning World Day of Remembrance events. They shared not only the logistics of planning the events but also the deep impact they can have on individuals affected by fatal crashes and the community. The recording of the webinar is now available on the MassBike YouTube Channel.
Organize an in-person event or action
If there is some momentum, or if there has been a recent fatality in your area, hold a press conference or vigil at that site or another location and invite families, advocates, elected officials, and the media to join. This can be very powerful.
If you are planning an event, please let the Vision Zero Coalition know so we can add it to our Massachusetts toolkit. We are happy to help with media outreach and/or provide guidance on how to look up crash data in your community. You can reach us at [email protected].
Individual or group actions to take
- Lay a flower/s on the steps of your Town or City Hall, at the site of a crash, or at a meaningful location to you in honor of someone you know who has been killed or injured in a traffic crash, and invite others to do the same
- Light a candle at home and have a moment of silence
- Connect with friends or family who have been impacted by traffic violence
- Share your story on social media and tag #WDoR2023
- Send a letter to legislators pushing them to prioritize traffic safety in your community. This could look like asking for lower speed limits on dangerous roads, adding a speed bump, changing road design, or education campaigns.
You can learn more about World Day of Remembrance in Massachusetts at www.visionzerocoalition.org/wdr.
World Day of Remembrance Planning Resources
- World Day of Remembrance 2023 Toolkit, Massachusetts
- World Day of Remembrance Webinar
- World Day of Remembrance Organizer’s Toolkit