Road traffic victims honoured at service

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Five doves are released to symbolise the daily average of victims in the UK pic © JMU Journalism/ Sam Davies

Five doves were released to symbolise the daily average of road traffic victims in the UK. Pic © JMU Journalism/ Sam Davies

The unheralded victims of road traffic crashes were honoured as dozens of people gathered at St George’s Hall yesterday to remember them.

Memorial services were held worldwide for World Day of Remembrance for road traffic victims, organised by the Road Peace charity.

Coordinators from the charity shared their own stories and poems, before a minute’s silence was held. Relatives of victims also laid flowers and, after the service, five doves were released to symbolise the average number of people who die on UK roads daily.

In recent years, there have been over 5,000 incidents, with 500 killed or seriously injured in the city. Speaking at the service, the Lord Mayor of Liverpool, Tony Concepcion, said he would welcome any measures that can help achieve fewer collisions on the city’s roads.

He told JMU Journalism: “We’re working with all our partners and the police to ensure that people obey the speed limits and on most of the residential roads across the city we’re introducing 20-mile-per-hour limits. We’re aiming to do that over the next four years.

“The city’s broken down into seven areas based on the amount of collisions, the priority being the ones with the most collisions will be the first areas that will be targeted. We believe by doing that we can reduce the number of collisions by 54 a year.”

After the service, those in attendance had refreshments and were encouraged to share their experiences with each other. Road Peace’s North West coordinator, Pauline Fielding, whose eldest son Andrew was killed in a road collision 21 years ago, led the service. She applauded the council’s efforts and stressed the importance of all road users taking responsibility.

She told JMU Journalism: “It’s very important to let other people realise what can happen when somebody loses concentration, somebody drinks and then drives and someone who takes drugs and then drives. We’ve got to try and stop the same thing happening to other people like it has happened to us.

“Drivers need to remember that they have a killing machine in their hands and they have to use it sensibly. Everybody who uses the roads has to take care, whether they’re a pedestrian, a driver or a cyclist, we all have a responsibility.”

About Sam Davies, JMU Journalism