A SERVICE was held at Ripon Cathedral yesterday as part of a global day of remembrance for hundreds of thousands of victims of road accidents.
The annual Oakleaf Service was organised by North Yorkshire Police and was linked to the United Nations' world day of remembrance for road victims.
Families and friends of crash victims from across the region were invited to the service, during which their loved one's name was inscribed on an "oak leaf" and placed at the altar.
The Dean of Ripon Cathedral, Keith Jukes, who conducted the service, said: "The deaths caused by road traffic accidents in North Yorkshire come within a wider context.
"During the last year, more than 1.2 million people lost their lives as a result of road accidents worldwide and we must all do what we can to support the police and others in their desire to cut this huge loss.
"All of us at Ripon Cathedral join in that desire not only to remember those who have lost their lives but to support the campaign of awareness."
Since October last year, 43 people have died on North Yorkshire's roads, although a wide-ranging road safety campaign, called 95 Alive, has seen a significant reduction in fatalities in the county.
The 95 Alive partnership was launched four years ago and remains on course to meet its target of keeping an extra 95 people alive up until 2010.
North Yorkshire's Deputy Chief Constable, Adam Briggs, who addressed the service yesterday, said: "The service was a very poignant occasion and served as a sobering reminder of how important our work is and why we must continually strive to improve road safety and reduce casualties."
The World Health Organisation has estimated that road crashes will be the fifth leading cause of death by 2030, exceeding those caused by HIV and AIDS.