Children Share Experiences To Make Roads Safer

MANILA, Nov. 21, 2007—Witnessing or experiencing a traffic accident at a very young age can be traumatic, but three grade school students who topped the recent Safe Kids and FedEx International Walk to School Day (IWTSD) Essay-writing Contest used their experiences to raise awareness on road safety in the Philippines .

Held in 89 schools in Pasay , Parañaque, Quezon City , Olongapo and Cebu , the theme of the essay-writing contest was “How I Can Make a Difference in Keeping Roads Safe”. It was held as part of IWTSD activities on October 3, and more than 40,000 entries from Grade V and VI students were submitted.

Joanna Marie B. Pido, the winner of the Safe Kids and FedEx IWTSD Essay-writing Contest, knows the reality behind these figures. She witnessed a fellow student being hit by a speeding car and thrown several meters onto the pavement while on her way to school.

Joanna, a Grade VI student at the Lahug Elementary School in Cebu , said that incident and the warnings given by her parents have made her pay more attention to personal safety, especially when on the street. This was reflected in her winning essay.

“Young as I am, there is something I can do to keep the roads safe,” she wrote. “I notice that many of my classmates and schoolmates are oblivious to the problems. They don’t really take extra care when crossing the road. Some don’t even use the pedestrian lane or the road bridge when crossing the street. Maybe they just do not see the importance of these features, which are meant to protect them.”

Like Joanna, the runners-up in the essay-writing contest know from experience what the campaign for safer roads is all about.

Second-placer Valentina B. Jakosalem, from Tisa II Elementary School in Cebu City , was hit by a jeepney while crossing a busy street when she was only seven years old. The driver of the vehicle did not even take her to the nearest hospital.

“I was hit while trying to cross an intersection,” explained Valentina. “Apparently, the driver did not see me in front of his jeepney, so he sped off after the traffic lights turned green. I woke up in a hospital. I was told later that my right leg had been run over twice, and that I was lucky to have no broken bones.”

It is six years since her accident and Valentina continues to be aware of the need to take proper care when crossing the street. Warnings given by her father, a taxi driver, and lessons given by volunteers from Safe Kids and FedEx support her own experience.

“When crossing the street, children should walk in the pedestrian lane to be safe and to be sure that no accident will happen,” she said. “When crossing the street, we should not be in a hurry; we should wait for our turn to cross. Drivers should also be careful.”

Eleven-year old Michael Christian Baysauli, from Batasan Elementary School in Quezon City , placed third in the contest. He is taking a proactive approach to road safety, and dreams of being an engineer in order to help build safer roads and thoroughfares. Michael’s goal stems from a near-accident when he was six, when he was almost run over by a train while playing by the tracks.

“Children should be taught to obey traffic rules,” he noted in his essay. “They must be made aware that it is for their own good and the country as a whole.”

The three winning essays were selected by a committee composed of Safe Kids Philippines and FedEx volunteers, school coordinators and representatives from the World Health Organization and Department of Education, during IWTSD.

According to the Asian Development Bank, every hour about 11 children in the Philippines are killed or injured on the road. This means that every year about 96,000 children are killed or injured on the road.

Marked annually in more than 40 countries, IWTSD aims to make roads safer for pedestrians, especially children.

About FedEx Express

FedEx Express is the world’s largest express transportation company, providing fast and reliable delivery to every U.S. address and to more than 220 countries and territories. FedEx Express uses a global air-and-ground network to speed delivery of time-sensitive shipments, by a definite time and date with a money-back guarantee.

About FedEx Corp.

FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX) provides customers and businesses worldwide with a broad portfolio of transportation, e-commerce and business services. With annual revenues of US$36 billion, the company offers integrated business applications through operating companies competing collectively and managed collaboratively, under the respected FedEx brand. Consistently ranked among the world’s most admired and trusted employers, FedEx inspires its more than 280,000 employees and contractors to remain “absolutely, positively” focused on safety, the highest ethical and professional standards and the needs of their customers and communities. For more information, visit