Hergott: Another day of remembrance coming up to focus on toll roads take on us all

Another day of remembrance is around the corner for the daily loss of almost 4,000 lives on roads around the world.

The traditional Remembrance Day ceremonies went ahead Nov. 11 as they do every year, in memory of the thousands of men and women who have sacrificed their lives in military service.

I caught a CBC radio interview discussing whether or not there is a conflict between the red poppy campaign and the white poppy campaign.

The red colour seems to put a focus on honouring sacrifice, viewing war as a necessity, while the white colour puts a focus on mourning the losses, a rejection of war, and a call for peaceful conflict resolution.

There is value in commemorating the losses, whatever focus you put on it. Those who were marched into battle and gave their lives for the rest of us ought to be remembered.

Equally, or more so, the bandage needs to be ripped off from time to time to mourn the horrendous social cost of war, to motivate us in avoiding future armed conflicts.

Another day of remembrance is just around the corner.

I doubt many of you have ever heard of it, even though it commemorates a loss of life to Canadians over the last 50 years that exceeds the loss of Canadian lives in both world wars. The loss of life is just the tip of the iceberg. It also commemorates the hundreds of people injured for every fatality, many permanently.

I am referring to the National Day of Remembrance for Road Crash Victims.

In 2005, the United Nations endorsed a World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims to be observed annually every third Sunday in November, making it a major advocacy day for road traffic injury prevention.

Governments around the world were encouraged to commemorate this day. With a daily loss of life on roads throughout the world of almost 4,000, and hundreds of thousands injured every day, it is an issue that caught the attention of the UN.

Canada’s National Day of Remembrance for Road Crash Victims is the Wednesday following the World Day, and was first commemorated in 2008.

That day is today: Wednesday, Nov. 21.

Commemoration of the day in British Columbia has been extremely limited, virtually non-existent. To my knowledge, this day has never even been commemorated in the Okanagan.

At my request, Kelowna Mayor Walter Gray has proclaimed Nov. 21 as a Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims in the City of Kelowna.

I prefer the wording “road traffic victims” to “road crash victims” because it is all-inclusive. I am thinking here specifically of pedestrian casualties.

There is a “red poppy” element to the day, in honour of the emergency services personnel who are killed and injured responding to road traffic incidents, and otherwise doing their jobs on our roadways.

There is also a white poppy element, recognizing and mourning the losses so as to motivate us to do something about it.

The loss of life and injuries just keep marching on day after day, week after week, year after year, as if like troops continually marching into battle.

The maddening reality is that road traffic casualties are preventable.

A Day of Peace has been suggested as a global initiative; a day of respect by and towards all road users; a day on which exceptional care is taken by motorists; a day of courtesy at the wheel and a day when all road laws are respected so that a world day without any crashes resulting in injury or death will become a reality.

Can we start that as a British Columbia initiative on Nov. 21? Statistically, there is an injury about every 3 1/2 hours in Kelowna alone.

Can we go 24 hours without any injuries or deaths? Can a seed we plant here grow to include other communities, and to include all of British Columbia? Can a day without injuries or deaths grow to a week? Can we start something that makes a real difference?

Join me, local emergency services personnel, those mourning road traffic injuries and deaths, and others motivated to make a change on Wednesday, Nov. 21, 5 p.m., in the Orchard Park Shopping Centre parking lot, corner of Dilworth Drive and Highway 97, for a brief commemoration of this important day.

One crash is too many.  If we start believing that and driving like we believe it, we can make a difference.

Just Posted

Complete list of B.C. Interior wildfire coverage

Up-to-date information on blazes happening the Kamloops Wildfire Centre

Interior Health wants you to protect your lungs with the smoky skies

Kelowna - With wildfires comes with the risk of smoke pollution across the Interior.

Owner of fruit stand recounts ‘flames popping up everywhere’ from wildfire near Peachland

The Mount Eneas wildfire is burning at about 200 hectares south of Peachland

Smoky skies cause Okanagan-wide air quality issues

Central Okanagan pushed to high risk

Update: Wildfire crews continue to fight Okanagan Mountain Park wildfire

The wildfire across the lake from Peachland is burning at 200 hectares

Breaking: More evacuation orders for Mount Eneas wildfire, south of Peachland

The BC Wildfire Service is battling a large wildfire alongside Highway 97 in Peachland.

Campers find refuge at Penticton community centre

Campers evacuated from Okanagan Lake Provincial Park

Ontario, Saskatchewan premiers join together to oppose federal carbon plan

Saskatchewan is already involved in a court case over the tax

For-profit ridesharing legislation long overdue: BC Conservatives

Interim party leader Scott Anderson said the provincial government should step out of the way

After cave rescue, soccer boys pray for protection at Thai temple

On Wednesday evening, the boys and coach were released from hospital

Gymnastics sex abuse victims join hands, accept courage award at ESPYs

The women who spoke out against the abuse by Larry Nassar stood together Wednesday night

UPDATED: Expect heavy delays on Highway 97

Motorists may use an alternate route via Highway 97C, Highway 5A and Highway 3

Fire in backcountry near Keremeos reaches 400 hectares in size

Two significant fires are burning in the Lower Similkameen, smoke can be seen as far away as Osoyoos

Cluster of fires fans smoke over West Kelowna

A cluster of three fires are burning above West Kelowna

Most Read