Hardly a day goes by without news of another serious road crash on the roads of our region. Every incident tells its own story of fatality or injury, each one representing trauma and loss to victims, their loved ones and communities alike.
Meanwhile, the economic consequences and pressure on emergency services, the NHS and on local authority highways and transportation budgets continue to increase. The issue maybe a global one, but the consequences are played out in families, households and communities.
Road deaths and injuries are sudden, violent, traumatic events, the impact of which can be long-lasting, and often permanent. I was on the wrong end of a hit-and-run car crash myself, on the roads of rural Norfolk back in 1992 and every day, I suffer physical pain as a result. I continue to bounce in and out of hospital and am unable to work as a direct result of injuries sustained.
In a split second, not only did my own life change but so did the event impact on that my friends, family and community.
Yet I am one of the lucky ones who lived to tell the tale.
Sunday, November 20, is designated as the UN endorsed World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims. It provides an opportunity to stand in solidarity with victims and their loved ones; to raise awareness of the global impact and local consequences of each and every crash; and to pay tribute to the dedicated emergency personnel and medical professionals who deal daily with the traumatic aftermath of road death and injury.
In Norfolk in 2015, 33 people were killed: representing a fall on previous years but that is 33 families dealing with the aftermath of a violent traumatic death, 2,375 people were injured in Norfolk, 352 seriously.
A common day of remembrance offers solidarity and friendship to the bereaved and injured, draws attention to the devastation caused by road danger and calls for an end to the carnage. For more information, please visit www.roadpeace.org
For support and advice, please contact helpline on 0845 4500 355.
Rev Simon Wilson
The Vicarage, Heacham