Local News

NC marks lives lost to traffic accidents with display of shoes

Posted November 18, 2018 11:11 a.m. EST
Updated November 18, 2018 9:21 p.m. EST

— Crashes claimed more than 1,400 lives last year in North Carolina and a display Sunday at the State Capitol honored those who died on state roads.

In honor of International World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims, the North Carolina commissioner of insurance and the state highway safety director presided over a visual memorial to the 1,412 North Carolinians killed in 2017 on the state's highways.

A display of shoes represented those killed in traffic crashes.

"When I look at those shoes, it brings so many emotions," participant Deirdre Rushin said. "Every pair of shoes that are here represents a life that has been lost needlessly. That's too many. We need to do something different. This hasn't worked. We need to come up with a new plan."

NC Vision Zero is leading a collaborative effort in hopes of implementing initiatives to improve road safety. Sunday was about remembering lives lost and to continue the work to be safe while driving.

"Everybody who is involved in a traffic crash is a person with a family, with a community, with friends," said Highway Safety Program Director Mark Ezzell. "Sometimes, when you hear statistics, that can just wash over you, but it's important to us to know that every statistic we talk about is someone who is lost in a traffic crash."

Ezzell said he is passionate about the issue because his father died in a crash in the 1990s. He was not wearing a seatbelt.

With the holiday travel season coming up, Ezzell urged people to use caution on the roads.

The World Day of Remembrance is intended to raise awareness of the unnecessary cost of traffic deaths and to promote safe driving and reduce roadway fatalities and injuries.