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World Day of Remembrance shows the toll of traffic violence – and the need for action

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Remembering the Lives Devastated by Traffic Violence

On November 18, Walk San Francisco joined San Francisco Bay Area Families for Safe Streets and members of the Vision Zero Coalition for World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims.

World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims is a global event to honor the millions of people hurt and killed in crashes, and offers a chance to stand in support of victims’ family members, friends, and loved ones. The event also calls for action to end traffic violence.

Traffic Violence is a Public Health Crisis

Every year in the United States, 40,000 people are killed in traffic crashes. What is equally shocking is that last year, 4.5 million people were injured seriously enough in motor vehicle crashes to require medical attention. That is just in our country.

Here in San Francisco, more lives have been lost to traffic violence in 2018 than in 2017. We have to stop this horrible trend in its tracks. We must get to Vision Zero. We will no longer accept death and serious injury as part of our transportation system.

Turning Grief Into Action for Safer Streets

At the event, survivors and family members of victims shared heartbreaking stories of the toll of traffic violence. No one will soon forget what was shared by Jenny Yu, Julie Mitchell, and Neeti Chokshi – all members of San Francisco Bay Area Families for Safe Streets. Estelle Oloresisimo remembered her friend Candida Duazo, who was killed this year crossing Ocean Avenue.

Supervisor Norman Yee, who almost lost his life after being hit by a car 12 years ago, spoke emotionally of how hard this was on his family. He also shared that his grandfather was hit and killed by car before he ever got to meet him.

All speakers shared the urgent need for leaders to act aggressively to make life-saving changes to our city’s deadliest streets, plus make all city streets safer in order to reach Vision Zero.

Many thanks to the elected and agency officials who were part of this year’s World Day of Remembrance in San Francisco: Assemblymember David Chiu; Supervisor Norman Yee; Supervisor Rafael Mandelman; Ed Reiskin, Director of San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA); Tilly Chang, Director of San Francisco County Transportation Authority (SFCTA); Raj Vaswani, Captain of SF Police Department Traffic Company; and Teresa Ewins, Commander of Municipal Transportation with the SF Police Department.

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Banner image: Jeffrey Gray.