World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims

Yesterday was the World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims.

Within the last two hours both within a mile of my home, there have been two separate crashes. One involving three cars. One involving an unknown number of cars and a motorbike. Reports are looking bad for the motorcyclist. Think of the devastation to these people’s lives; the mental and physical injuries, the repercussions and perhaps even their murder. And then the effect on their love ones.

I say murder because it would not be by chance. It is not an accident. It would have happened for a reason. This may be road rage and aggression, reckless or dangerous manoeuvring, speeding, intoxication, distraction, mobile phone usage, having a defective vehicle, not driving to the conditions and a whole list of other reasons. It is not good enough.

On average, everyday five people wake up and go about their busy lives only not to get back into bed that night. If 5 people were killed in a terrorist attack, inquiries would be launched, changes made and maybe even a war started. 5 separate people, every single day are made to be irrelevant. Bodies are removed within a few hours and life goes on. This needs to change. Zero deaths.

When I am on my bicycle I have no shell to “protect” me. As a driver overtakes me within the tiniest of gaps between my leg and the metal, I wonder if they realise the danger. I use inverted commas because the metal surround and seat belts lures a driver of a motor vehicle to believe they are safe and so is everyone else. They are not. I use my vehicle as if I were a visitor. It is public space and should be treated as such. Apologise for being there. Most are there on licence. If it’s a blind bend, slow to a crawling pass. Go at the suitable conditions. Do not distract yourself. Don’t speed. Don’t cut someone off. Don’t be aggressive.

As my grandmother told my Mum and my Mum told me, when on the road think, “It’s not whose right, it’s who’s left”.

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