A special service to remember those who have died or been injured on our roads will be held in Liverpool this week.
RoadPeace has organised the remembrance service in the concert room of St George’s Hall, part of the charity’s World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims.
It takes place at 1.30pm on Sunday 18 November, following which guests will be invited to the memorial for crash victims in neighbouring St John’s Gardens where five doves will be released to mark the five people who are killed each day on our country’s roads.
Pauline Fielding, from Liverpool, organises the annual event for RoadPeace, where she turned to for support after her son Andrew was killed in 1994 at the age of just 18, in a crash caused by a driver who did not stay at the scene and who was never traced.
She is now a trustee of the charity and says the service, which will be led by the Rector of Liverpool, Crispin Pailing, is a poignant way for people to pay tribute as well as raising awareness of how dangerous driving costs lives.
Pauline said: “We invite all those who have been bereaved or injured in road crashes, together with those who support us, to join us for this event. In every death there are so many people affected and this service offers the families and friends of those who have died or been injured the opportunity to come together and remember their loved ones.
“It is also a chance for us to give thanks to the emergency services for their support and to highlight this unacceptable death toll and reflect on what can be done to prevent further tragedies.”
The Lord Mayor of Liverpool Cllr Christine Banks, Merseyside Police Assistant Chief Constable Ian Critchley and other dignitaries will attend the event. Refreshments will be served in St George’s Hall following the service.
Councillor Banks said: “There can be few things more devastating than to lose a loved one as the result of a road collision. The sudden, brutal way that victims are taken must leave families with an overwhelming sense of shock and grief.
“It is clear that these incidents have a long-lasting effect on the lives of everyone involved.
“We can only hope that by raising awareness of the tragic aftermath of any road crash and sending a strong message about road safety, more of these horrendous incidents can be prevented.
“I am honoured to have been asked to take part in this ceremony which serves as a tribute to all those who have lost their lives and illustrates how we stand shoulder-to-shoulder to those left behind.”
Assistant Chief Constable Critchley added: “It is an honour to attend this service. As well as allowing us the opportunity to reflect on the lives of those lost to road traffic collisions and show support for their loved ones, it serves as a sober reminder of the devastating impact road traffic collisions have on families and communities across Merseyside and beyond.
“Through policing our roads and working with our partners, communities and road-users, our commitment to making our roads safer and reducing serious incidents is absolute."
Merseyside’s Police Commissioner Jane Kennedy said: “Every death or serious injury on the roads of Merseyside is one too many. Each and every one brings suffering and misery to those who are involved, their families, friends, and whole communities.
“This poignant service gives people the opportunity to remember all those who have tragically lost their lives and offer support to their loved ones, as RoadPeace does all year round.”
The event in Liverpool is one of many taking place across the globe as part of RoadPeace’s World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims. It was first introduced in 1993 and quickly spread to other European countries before being adopted by the United Nations in 2005.
Find out more about RoadPeace here.