Family members and crash survivors honor their experiences with traffic violence and urge Mayor Bowser to honor her commitment to safe streets
Families of traffic crash victims, road safety advocates, and community members commemorate World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims with signs honoring loved ones who were killed or seriously injured due to traffic crashes. Members of the District of Columbia chapter of Families for Safe Streets installed signs at over 50 crash sites across all eight Wards memorializing fatal crashes.
Traffic violence is a preventable public health crisis. World Day of Remembrance is an international event, started in 2005, honoring the 1.35 million people killed and millions more injured on the world’s roads each year and organizing for change to prevent such tragedies.
2023 World Day of Remembrance in DC
This World Day of Remembrance, we’re calling for urgent change. So far in 2023, drivers have killed at least 45 people and injured over 5,500 loved ones—the highest in 16 years. It doesn’t have to be like this. Evidence shows how we can prevent fatal and serious crashes: through street design, vehicle size, and slower speeds.
In 2015, Mayor Bowser committed to reaching zero traffic deaths by 2024; that initiative has failed. But it’s not too late. District leaders can fully implement the laws and policies to save lives that we want, the Mayor committed to, and that the DC Council passed into law.
Vision Zero is more than rhetoric. It’s about making choices to save lives by slowing down cars and reducing our reliance on them. In fact, implementing safe street policies is all the more imperative now as DC seeks to draw workers and visitors back to the city. Mayor Bowser can set our beautiful, walkable city back on the right track so that no one has to worry about the threat of traffic violence for their family, friends, neighbors, and themselves.
The Bowser administration must keep its promise. We demand that you fully fund and implement laws and initiatives to keep our loved ones and our communities safe from life-shattering traffic violence. These include:
- Build the K Street Transitway as originally designed, prioritizing bus and protected bike infrastructure.
- End the delay and build the Connecticut Avenue protected bike lanes.
Safe Road Users
- Enforce bus-only lanes with cameras to prioritize a high quality public transportation experience.
- Support the current legislative package under consideration to correct the failures that allow reckless drivers to endanger themselves and others with impunity and establish reciprocity with our neighboring jurisdictions.
- Commit to retrofitting the DC vehicle fleet with truck under-ride guards and intelligent speed assistance, like New York City has successfully piloted.
Post Crash Care
- Improve speed and accuracy in 911/OUC call center operations and provide transparency about failures.
These plans have been studied, piloted, designed, and tested. They serve to slow vehicle traffic, improve transit, and provide climate-friendly infrastructure for all road users. They will save lives.
Highlighted 2023 World Day of Remembrance events in the Greater Washington region.
Join us as we honor our families and friends on World Day of Remembrance
Sunday, November 19 from 10am – 1pm
Join the Montgomery County and DC Chapters of Families for Safe Streets to raisefocus on raising public awareness of the many traffic victims in the DC metro area by undertaking a cycling tour past several of the crash sites that have broken our hearts in recent years. They will include those for Enzo Alvarenga, a 19-year-old student at the University of Maryland; Sarah Debbink Langenkamp, 42-year-old mother and U.S. diplomat; Nijad Huseynov, a 24-year-old GW graduate student from Azerbaijan; and Allie Hart, a five-year old killed on her bike in a crosswalk. Our objective in this ride is simple: We want as many people as possible to join us to show the city and the region that these loved ones will not be forgotten and that their deaths will never be acceptable. The more people we have, the more our elected leaders and our news agencies will feel compelled to cover these events — so please join us! Details here.
Safe Streets for All!
Sunday, November 19 from 11am – 1pm in Brookland
Join us for a family-friendly event. We’ll be writing postcards, sharing our hopes for our city with chalk, and cleaning up around the community. Around 12pm, riders from the Ride for Your Life will join for a rally for safe streets. Meet at 14th and Irving Streets NE.
Northern Virginia FSS chapters
Sunday, November 19 at 1pm at Wakefield High School
Northern Virginia FSS will gather at 1pm at Arlington’s Wakefield High School to include words from families of victims of road traffic violence, local elected leaders and/or officials, and a ceremony to remember the 17 pedestrians killed by people driving in Alexandria, Arlington, and Fairfax over the last year. Learn more here.
Families for Safe Streets Virtual Candle Lighting
Tuesday, November 21 at 8pm eastern via Zoom
Join peers from across the country on Tuesday, November 21 at 8pm eastern for a virtual, post-World Day of Remembrance slideshow and candle lighting to share events with each other, honor loved ones, or acknowledge your own or a loved one’s injury crash. Sign up here to receive the Zoom link.