2016 was the year we developed something quite remarkable. We felt it was time to provide an opportunity for the general public to acknowledge those impacted by road trauma in our community. It was that year we developed the Road Accident Remembrance Day.
We feel very privileged to bring to bring to Canterbury, New Zealand’s first Road Accident Remembrance Day. There are many facets to this notable event, our main focus is to ensure we provide a positive and engaging experience for each person who attends.
Acknowledge first responders and those involved in post accident care and recovery
Our first responders and those involved in post accident care and recovery bear witness to significant trauma. Although, this is their day job, we believe they deserve recognition.
Hear compelling first hand stories
What is so unique about the Road Accident Remembrance Day is that it provides our community to hear first hand experiences of those affected by road trauma through compelling speeches from first responders and those involved in post accident care and recovery through to survivors.
We believe if we place emphasis to the impacts of road crashes, it will help reduce it incidences. We also believe in the importance of educating the public on road crash prevention and providing the on the latest insights from key Government agencies.
It is often survivors who bear witness to significant trauma, survivors may sustain injuries, some which may have long lasting.
Acknowledge loss of loved ones
It is important we place significance on those that have passed away on our roads. Each year, we provide a touching tribute to each life lost in the past year through our ‘White Cross Ceremony’. We also provide acknowledgement to the families of those affected. Since 2016, we have worked with over 259 families. Some have traveled as far as Australia and across New Zealand to attend.
Award unsung heroes and those involved in road safety initiatives
The Canterbury Road Trauma Awards were founded in 2017. It is important we provide tribute to those in our community who make an influential difference in the prevention of road trauma and road crashes in our community.
“This day is exactly what we need, we all want to be there and we have all said what an incredible organisation. To be in the presence of people who have experienced the same shock, grief and trauma that we have will be somewhat healing and comforting for the terrible loss. We are also grateful for the opportunity to meet and thank those who were the first responders to the crash scene and other emergency services.
On behalf of my family, I want to extend my highest appreciation to you personally for the thoughtfulness to set up this Trust and for all the hard work that goes into putting a day like this together.”
“The need to prevent crashes and also reduce the seriousness of crashes when they occur is the main goal of the “Safe System” approach. We need to look at all the factors which contribute to serious crashes which have such a huge and long-term impact upon individuals, families and communities. The Road Accident Remembrance Day is one way to remind people of the on-going repercussions of vehicle crashes and the need to reduce our risks in as many ways as we can.”
Jim Harland, Director Regional Relationships, New Zealand Transport Agency
“Christchurch has the busiest trauma centre in the country, receiving patients from all over the South Island and spinal trauma patients from the lower North Island. This is a complex, multi-disciplinary service, and many of the professionals working with road trauma are donating their non-clinical time to help people who may be experiencing the most challenging event of their life. We also need to consider everyone else involved with these events – members of the public who stop to help, emergency services, and non-clinical staff. The people who helped those affected by road trauma deserve recognition”.
David Meates, Chief Executive Officer, Canterbury District Health Board