FedEx, Safe Kids Team Up to Launch “Walk This Way” in Wuhan

WUHAN, Nov. 6, 2007 – FedEx Express (FedEx), a subsidiary of FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX) and the world’s largest express transportation company, today joined hands with Safe Kids to kick-off the Safe Kids Walk This Way program in Wuhan at Da Dongmen Primary School.

Following its successful launch in major Chinese cities including Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou, Wuhan marks the first initiative of its kind in Central China. Over 150 primary students and 30 FedEx volunteers alongside officials from the Wuhan municipal government participated in the event.

FedEx and Safe Kids first created the Walk This Way program in the United States with the aim of promoting child pedestrian safety. Since being introduced to China in April 2004, the program has been conducted in more than 2,000 schools and more than 1,000,000 students and parents in China have received pedestrian safety education.

The Walk This Way program in Wuhan received invaluable support from the Wuhan Child Activity Center. At the kick-off event, students from Da Dongmen Primary School and FedEx volunteers called for further improvements of road safety and measures to ensure a safer school zone. To help meet these goals, Safe Kids and FedEx co-donated a Walk This Way road safety curriculum to the school.

Following the kick-off event, FedEx volunteers played road safety games with the students and practiced safe walking exercises in a nearby street, arming students with basic pedestrian behavior and road safety knowledge.

“FedEx has long been committed to supporting child pedestrian safety education. We not only deliver fast and reliable service in China, but also care for the community where we live and work,” said Jimmy Chen, regional vice president, domestic service, FedEx China. “In China, more than five hundred FedEx employees have volunteered to educate children about pedestrian safety. We will continue to expand this meaningful program to more places in China.”

“Safe Kids Walk This Way is a long-term program that includes research, education and the establishment of pedestrian safety work groups,” said Monica Cui, director, Safe Kids China. “Since it was launched in the United States back in 1999, the number of road traffic injuries has been reduced by 18 percent. We hope to replicate that success model to effectively prevent child road accidents in China. With this program carried out here in Wuhan, we expect further improvements on road safety across Central China, which will help us save children from being injured or killed.”

According to a report released by Safe Kids Worldwide, road accidents have become the second largest killer of children aged 15 and under in China. An average of over 30,000 children are injured or killed in traffic accidents every year. Of these, nearly 44 percent are child pedestrians. The report suggests that careless road crossing is the largest cause of road injury. Consequently, enhancing child pedestrian safety education and raising awareness of road safety is urgent needed.

A study by Safe Kids surveying 500 primary students in Wuhan indicates several key pedestrian risks in the city:

  • Forty-six percent of the students noted damage to the sidewalks, which are occupied by motor vehicles, garbage and small stalls.
  • Over 50 percent of the students claimed the duration of the green light was too short for them to cross the street in time.
  • All the student respondents noticed that more than 50 percent of drivers competed with pedestrians at the cross roads. The drivers did not use their horn to warn pedestrians and even pulled ahead into intersections when the traffic light was changing from yellow to red.
  • Less than 25 percent of the students can correctly identify traffic safety signs such as “Caution: Children and Construction.”

    The study clearly identifies the key areas needed for road safety education. In addition, the study points out that efforts should be made to improve the safety of road environments while also educating the vehicle drivers.

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