Road accident victims to be remembered

Victims of road accidents will be remembered across the country on Sunday.

Victims of road accidents will be remembered across the country on Sunday.

There have been 286 people killed in collisions so far this year compared to 319 for the same period last year.

The World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims is organised by the Road Safety Authority (RSA) and Public Against Road Carnage (Parc) who have called on motorists to reflect on their own behaviour on the roads.

It is estimated that for every life lost on Irish roads more than 100 people are left grieving this loss.

Road Safety Authority chairman Gay Byrne said: "On Sunday we have an opportunity to remember victims and the pain and suffering of families and friends who continue to grieve the loss of their loved ones."

To mark the occasion, the RSA will be distributing over 400,000 high visibility arm bands to the public.

"It is part of a major road safety blitz by the RSA aimed at protecting vulnerable road users, especially pedestrians and cyclists during the dark winter months," Mr Byrne added.

"Wintertime is traditionally a high risk period for pedestrians and cyclists as poor light and weather make using the roads more dangerous."

Parc founder and chairperson Susan Gray said Sunday is also a day to remember all those who have been seriously injured on our roads and may need permanent care for the rest of their lives.

Ms Gray's husband Stephen died in a traffic collision in December 2004.

She added: "We would not wish this pain on anyone - the physical and emotional pain of the sorrow, the loss and the anger that all families suffer after having lost someone they loved dearly.

"By their deaths our eyes have been opened for us as to the changes needed to create safer roads in our country."

"It is our duty and responsibility to work together with government and state agencies to bring about safe roads for future generations. We ask you the public to help us with this task.

"Road safety begins with each and every one of us whether you are a driver a cyclist or pedestrian.

"All of us need to take greater responsibility for our own behaviour on the roads."

Dioceses of both the Catholic Church and The Church of Ireland will be asked to pray for all those affected by road deaths and injury.

In addition, Parc is holding a special Mass and memorial ceremony at St Mary's Oratory, in Buncrana, Co Donegal where balloons will be released in memory of victims in that county.

A Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims was first initiated by RoadPeace, the UK national charity for road victims (www.roadpeace.org).

United Nations General Assembly officially adopted it in 2005.

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