Road crash victims are to be remembered in a special ceremony today.
RoadPeace NW are inviting those who have been bereaved or injured through road crashes, together with those who support them, to the remembrance event in the Lady Chapel of Liverpool Anglican Cathedral, St James' Mount, L1 7AZ, on Wednesay, 31st August, starting at 2pm. Anyone attending is welcome to bring a photo of the person they are remembering so it can be placed in the chapel during the event.
The day marks the 19th anniversary of the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, in a road crash. It also marks the anniversary of the world's first motor vehicle death, that of Mary Ward in Ireland in 1869.
Britain's first road death also occurred in August, when Bridget Driscoll was killed at Crystal Palace on August 17th 1896, with the Coroner pronouncing “This must never happen again”.
Since then, over half a million people have been killed in crashes in Britain and the current annual global death toll is estimated at over 1.3 million deaths. Such scale of loss has been described by Professor Danny Dorling, a patron of RoadPeace, as this century's biggest public health crisis with our roads the “open sewers of the 21st century”.
There will be a minute's silence during the ceremony. After the service people will go outside and five doves will be released in memory of loved ones, as each day, on average, five people are killed on Britain's roads.
Pauline Fielding, a trustee of of RoadPeace, said, “We encourage anyone who has been bereaved or injured through a road crash to join us for this remembrance and the chance to support and talk to each other after the ceremony. We are thankful to those who support us and to those who are working hard to reduce the number of people killed on the roads of Merseyside. They are also welcome to join us.”
The event will be attended by the High Sheriff, Lord Mayor of Liverpool, Merseyside's Police and Crime Commissioner and other dignitaries, as well as representatives of the emergency services and organisations which deal with and support road crash victims.
Merseyside’s Police Commissioner Jane Kennedy said: “This is a really important opportunity for us to gather and remember those who have been killed or seriously injured on our roads.
“Each and every crash has devastating consequences for so many people. This service is a chance for us all to show our support to those whose lives have been changed forever.
“The sad fact is that many crashes are avoidable. I am committed to reducing the number of people killed or seriously injured on the roads of Merseyside, so on this important day I will also be reminding everyone to take care when using the roads.”
The RoadPeace helpline number is 0845 450 0355 and further information is available from www.roadpeace.org .