Thai Victims Join the UN on World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims

Event to take place on Sunday, 18 November, in Bangkok

About 300 people from all walks of life, including 50 wheelchair bound victims of road traffic accidents, will join the United Nations on the World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims on Sunday, 18 November 2007, in Bangkok.

They will proceed from Amphorn Garden to the UN Building, head office of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), at 0900 hours. Mr. Apirak Kosayodhin, Bangkok Governor and Event Chairman, will deliver a speech to mark the occasion, after which he will take part in a flower-laying ceremony in remembrance of road traffic accident victims.

The procession is being organized by the Don’t Drive Drunk Foundation, together with the Victims Against Drunk Driving, and the Reduction of Traffic Accidents groups.

Worldwide, over 3,000 people are killed and over 100,000 are injured on roads every day. In the Asia-Pacific region, an estimated 440,000 people were killed and 20-30 million injured in road traffic crashes last year alone, costing the region an estimated US$ 100 billion.

Road traffic accidents are a leading cause of death in Thailand. According to the Don’t Drive Drunk Foundation, 12,609 people were killed in Thailand last year and 834,380 were injured, of whom 83,438 became handicapped as a result. The average economic cost of one road traffic accident death is three million baht (about US$ 100,000).

The United Nations officially designated the third Sunday in November of every year as the World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims, as an “appropriate acknowledgement for victims of road traffic crashes and their families’’ in 2005 by a General Assembly resolution on improving global road safety.

Transport ministers attending the Ministerial Conference on Transport which was organized by UNESCAP in November 2006 in Busan, Republic of Korea adopted the Ministerial Declaration on Improving Road Safety in Asia and the Pacific.

In the declaration, the ministers pledge to save 600,000 lives and prevent a commensurate numbers of serious injuries on Asia-Pacific roads over the period 2007 to 2015.

The ESCAP secretariat estimates that achieving the Declaration’s overall goal would lead to savings of US$ 15 billion per year.