FedEx, Safe Kids Team Up to Launch “Walk This Way” in Xi’an
XI’AN, China, Sept. 27, 2008 – FedEx Express (FedEx), a subsidiary of FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX) and one of the world’s largest express transportation companies, today joined hands with Safe Kids to launch the Safe Kids Walk This Way program in Xi’an at Da Yan Ta Primary School.
Following its successful launch in major Chinese cities, including Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou and Wuhan, this marks the first initiative of its kind in Xi’an. More than 100 students and 15 FedEx volunteers alongside officials from the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (China CDC) 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 one million students and parents in China have received pedestrian safety education.
At the launch event, students from Da Yan Ta 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 launch 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,” said Chang-An Tien, vice president, Government Affairs, FedEx China. “We not only deliver fast and reliable service, but also care for the community where we live and work. In China, more than seven hundred FedEx employees have volunteered to educate children about pedestrian safety. We will continue to expand this meaningful program to more places in China.”
“It has been proven in many countries and regions that the number of traffic accidents can be reduced by improving the public awareness of traffic safety,” said Monica Cui, director, Safe Kids China. “With this program in Xi’an, we expect the public to take more care for child pedestrians and help prevent them 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 14 and under in China. An average of more than 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 urgently needed.
With the rapid expansion of the Xi’an’s economy and city scale, an increasing number of vehicles has led to worsening traffic conditions in the city. The city’s transportation facilities and urban traffic network need to be improved and public awareness of road safety needs to increase.
A study by Safe Kids surveying 200 primary students in Xi’an indicates several key pedestrian risks in the city:
- More than 70 percent of the students walking to school five days a week cannot correctly identify traffic safety signs such as “Construction” and “Dangers”.
- More than 30 percent of the students spend 10 to 15 minutes to walking to school and noted bad traffic situations around schools, due to jammed conditions during rush hours.
- 40 percent of the students walking to school claimed that vehicles often blocked crossroads or the zebra crossing when they crossed the road.
- Most students claimed that the sidewalks are too crowded to use.
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 and students on the road safety knowledge.