Victims of road crashes remembered at services
Victims of road crashes are being remembered around the country today on World Remembrance Day for Road Traffic Victims.
Services are being held to commemorate thousands of road users injured and killed in collisions nationwide.
Road Safety Authority chairman Gay Byrne said the day should be a reminder for road-users to know their vulnerability.
More than 3,200 people have been killed on roads in the Republic since the turn of the decade, including 250 people so far this year, 35 fewer than last year.
It is estimated that for every life lost in collisions, more than 100 people are left grieving their loss.
“Every day, another person dies or is seriously injured on our roads. This can’t go on,” said Mr Byrne, chairman of the Road Safety Authority (RSA).
“World Remembrance Day for Road Traffic Victims provides us all with an opportunity to remember those whose lives have been tragically lost on our roads, and whose families have been devastated.
“Remember those who have died, think of the never-ending grief of their loved ones and then think about how you can change your own behaviour to ensure you and your family are safe on the road.”
Susan Gray, whose husband Stephen was killed in a road accident in 2004, said the day commemorates the dead and acknowledges the pain of their families.
“It is a very fitting tribute to all our lost loved ones, to have a day each year set aside in memory of their life on this earth,” said the Donegal woman who founded Parc (Promoting Awareness, Responsibility and Care on our roads).
“It is also a day to remember all those who have been seriously injured on our roads, many needing permanent care for the rest of their lives.
“This is also a day to remember all the grieving families left behind with the heartbreaking pain of never seeing our loved ones again.”
Memorial events around the country include a mass at Knock Shrine where 32 balloons will be released as a mark of respect to those who have died in road crashes in counties across Ireland.
Remembrance services will also be celebrated in Drogheda, Kildare, and Carlow, where Bus Éireann will take its road safety campaign in to primary schools in the next week.
The RSA has pledged to mark the day by distributing 300,000 road safety DVDs and reflective arm bands to motorists and vulnerable road users.