This month is designated National Road Victim Month. It is the month when we are asked to remember people that have been killed or injured on roads. This month of August is then a good time to raise awareness about making our roads safer.
I don’t know about you, but I have seen over the past few years a real decline in safety on our roads. I have also seen a real lack of courtesy for other road users. When out walking I see a large number of cars jumping the lights and going through on red lights, so much so that I am always cautious when driving when my lights change to green in case someone has decided to shoot through a red light. Another of my concerns is the lack of courtesy when driving around a new town or city. Everyone appears in such a rush to get anywhere that they forget that there maybe people who don’t actually know the road system. So the beeping of horns and hand gestures seem to be the norm on our roads.
I think we need a campaign for peace on our roads and that is exactly what the charity RoadPeace does. RoadPeace is the national charity for road crash victims in the UK (www.roadpeace.org). Their website says:
We provide information and support services to people bereaved or seriously injured in road crashes and engage in evidence based policy and campaigning work to fight for justice for victims and reduce road danger.
RoadPeace is celebrating 30 since its inception. The charity was founded in 1992 by Brigitte Chaudhry MBE (MBE awarded in 2003 for her pioneering work for road crash victims), a bereaved mother, herself, whose son was killed by a red light offender.
Every year on 31 August a service is held in Liverpool Cathedral (www.liverpoolcathedral.org.uk) to remember all who have been killed through road accidents. The date is also the anniversary of the death of Princess Diana who was killed in a road accident on that day.
Remembering is so important, as we look back on the lives of those loved ones who have died in whatever circumstances. In the Christian Church we remember each day and week the death and resurrection of Jesus through the celebration of the service of Holy Communion. In remembering we hope that through the death of Jesus the love of God is seen. It may be seen in all sort of different ways, but in terms of traffic accidents it can been seen through the work of the emergency services and in the care of all who stop and help. God’s love is also evident in the work of RoadPeace as they strive to bring justice to all affected by tragic road accidents. Their website (www.roadpeace.org) is a mine of information for all who need support during a very difficult time.
Revealing the love of God should, however, be evident in our driving. Being courteous, slowing down and not jumping red lights is all about thinking about the preciousness of life and each other. God has created us to live together in harmony and peace whether we are on the roads or in our homes.
Dean of Liverpool