The slogan for this year’s commemoration of the World Day of Remembrance relates to Pillar 3 of the Global Decade of Action: Safer vehicles. In addition, it accords with the general theme of the 3rd Global Ministerial Conference on Road Safety that  will take place in Stockholm in February 2020 – “Achieving Global Goals 2030”.

Notwithstanding global efforts to the  contrary, the  type of road  mobility that  is in place throughout  the world still fosters an unbearable number  of deaths,  serious injuries and illnesses  every  year,  both  as  the  immediate  consequence   of  road  traffic crashes  and through air pollution.

Every year, at least 1.3 million die and as many as 50 million more are seriously injured due to road   crashes   around   the   world.  To  this,  we   must   add   an   estimated  4.2  millionii premature  deaths caused by outdoor  air pollutioniii, many of which result from transport- related causes. In addition dozens  of millions more  people suffer from pollution-related diseases caused in part by exhaust fumes and brake and tyre particles.

Global  statistics  don’t  generally  compound   data   concerning  road   traffic  deaths   and injuries, with those concerning pollution-related fatal illnesses. When we talk of road traffic victims we tend  to focus our attention and concern on the former, not on the latter. But there  is every reason  to take a more comprehensive view of the global tragedy if indeed we wish to search for better and more sustainable answers.

The simple truth   is that   motorized  vehicles are  dangerous  machines, not  only due  to their  internal  and  external  design  but  also  due  to  the  pollution  they  cause.  Hence, recognising that  twice  as  many  people   are   fatally  victimised  by  exhaust   fumes   and brake  & tyre  micro- residues as are from road crashes, is an essential step to take decisive action  and change the  present   paradigm  of  road   mobility.  Our right  to  life – and  to health   – is doubly  put  into  question  every day on  the  world’s  roads  and  streets.   It  is thus  urgent  to  admit the  short- sightedness of the present  models of road safety, which don’t incorporate measures to tackle pollution fatalities, as only then can we confront the complex reality of this pandemic and do justice to the memory of all victims.

We need to take a deep reflection on the type of mobility we have today, which is based on values of immediacy, selfishness and materialism, and which doesn’t take into account the serious social, economic and ecological costs that it entails for all humanity.

Motorised road  vehicles are  built to  offer users  freedom  of movement  and  a sense  of personal  power  through  speed.  These  very properties  make  them  appealing  yet  risky machines. Human life is not  a car part  that  can be replaced  if broken.  So, the danger of being killed by them,  either through  lack of  kinetic control  or  by absorption of  deadly exhaust  particles, is not  a removable accessory: danger is an integral component  of their design.

Thus,  to achieve  the  UN Sustainable  Development  Goals 3.6 and 11.2 (better  health  and more   sustainable  urban  environments),  we  must  embrace   a  truly  holistic vision and understand   that   Zero  Vision is  not  only  a  desired  goal  in  terms  of  the   immediate consequences   of  a  road  traffic  crash  through  lighter  and  safer  vehicles  that   respect occupants  and  other  road  users,  but  it  also entails aiming for zero  emissions  (exhaust fumes,  and  brake  & tire residues), promoting other,  softer  and  more  active  means  of transportation,  and  reducing   long  distance   travels   by  focusing  on  “zero  kilometre products” .

This year, for the fifth time in a row, our country was amongst the countries from around the world marking the World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims, and just like in the previous years in Kosovo, the activities were coordinated by the College of Applied Technical Sciences “Tempulli” and the Kosovo Association of Motorization “AMRKS”, with the support from partners of Kosovo Forum for Road Safety.For the past five years our activities have been regularly posted in the official WDR calendar.


Date: 15 November 2019, 6:00 p.m.

Place: College of Applied Technical Sciences “Tempulli” and the National Theatre of Kosovo-Prishtinë.

Activity: Commemorative march (walking on foot) from Arbëria neighborhood-street Fehmi Agani-the National Theatre of Kosovo, where 97 candles were lit up in memory of 97 persons who died in road traffic accidents so far in 2019.

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