Every year, the third Sunday of November is the World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims. This year the day will be marked on Sunday 20 November.
This day focuses on both the overall scale and the individual devastation caused by road deaths and injuries and the impact upon families and communities around the world. Almost 4,000 people are killed and many hundreds of thousands injured on roads throughout the world every day. Many more have to cope with bereavement or the effects of injury and thus become part of the huge group of people affected by road carnage.
Speaking about road safety and the loss of life on our roads, Bishop Fintan Monahan, Bishop of Killaloe said, “We all share this responsibility to protect human life on our roads. Road safety awareness is the parable of the Good Samaritan in action within our communities today. I am thinking here of all road users: motorists, motorcyclists, cyclists and pedestrians, and we all have a role in helping each other even if we do not know one another personally.
“The loss of human life on our roads is heart-breaking for the loved ones of the deceased and a tragedy for our society as a whole.”
“I firmly believe that prayer and reflection can change our driving behaviour, calm our aggression, remind us of the spiritual, moral and physical importance of what we are about to do. In this context I recommend the following dedicated prayers for motorists which can be said before driving.”
17th century paidir as Gaeilge
In ainm an Athar le bua,
In ainm an Mhic a d’fhulaing an phian,
In ainm an Spiorad Naoimh le neart,
Muire is a Mac linn inár dtriall. Áiméan!
A contemporary prayer in the English language
Holy Mother, hear our prayer,
Keep us in your loving care,
Whatever the perils of the way,
Let us not add to them this day.
So to our caution and attention,
We add a prayer for your protection,
To beg God’s blessing on this car,
To travel safely near and far.