‘Phones down, heads up’ - Five steps to help keep kids safe as they head back to school
TORONTO, August 30, 2017 – Back to school means a renewed focus on safety for drivers and parents. Every day in Canada, seven children are struck while walking, and pedestrian injuries remain a leading cause of injury-related deaths for Canadian kids aged 14 and under. Most incidents happen after 3 p.m., when drivers are coming home from work, and children are walking home from school or after-school activities.
With this in mind, Parachute and FedEx Express Canada are reminding parents and drivers to ensure kids can walk safely to and from school on our neighbourhood streets. With school starting, that means drivers should remain focused on slowing down in residential areas and parents are reminded to show their children safe pedestrian practices. They offer five important steps:
1. Phones down, heads up when walking.
- Child pedestrians are up to 30% more likely to be struck or nearly struck by a vehicle when distracted by a cell phone.
2. Tempted to cross mid-block? Instead, take the extra time to cross at the corner.
- Up to 25% of pedestrian collisions occur at mid-block locations.
3. Be especially alert when it’s dark out, and make sure drivers can see you.
- 55% of pedestrian deaths occur at night and/or with low-light conditions.
4. It’s always best to walk on sidewalks or paths. No sidewalk? Walk facing traffic as far away from vehicles as possible.
- Sidewalks can reduce pedestrian collisions by 88%.
5. Adults or older children should walk with young children and teach them how to cross the road safely. The ability to assess vehicle speed and to judge safe gaps in traffic develops over time and with experience.
- A pedestrian struck by a car travelling 50 km/h has less than a 20% chance of survival.
These actions are only effective when they happen in an environment that is designed for safety and laws are enforced.
“As a global express transportation company, FedEx Express puts safety above all, both in the workplace and on the road,” says Pina Starnino, Vice President of Operations at FedEx Express Canada. “For us, safety is more than just an essential work practice - it is a commitment to our neighbours in the communities we serve. As part of our FedEx Cares commitment to invest $200 million in 200 communities worldwide by 2020, we are dedicated to saving lives and developing solutions that responsibly and sustainably make roads safer.”
For more than 16 years, Parachute and FedEx Express Canada have been delivering Walk This Way, a national pedestrian safety awareness campaign aimed at educating parents and drivers about road safety, while encouraging children to walk safely in their neighbourhoods. Walk This Way asks drivers to exercise caution, slow down and drive the speed limit in residential areas; and always stop at all school crossings. Parents are urged to act as role models for their children and demonstrate safe pedestrian practices.
“When a child is injured, it devastates us all, and we want no more broken hearts." says Steve Podborski, Parachute’s President and CEO. “Back to school is a time for adult pedestrians to role model good practices, and for drivers to slow down and be vigilant on the road. Working together, we can ensure our kids walk to and from school safely throughout the year.”
Another effective way for neighbourhoods to increase local road safety is by becoming a Pace Car community. As part of the Walk This Way program, community members can sign up to become “Pace Car drivers,” pledging to drive respectfully and within speed limits - becoming “mobile speed bumps” to slow traffic - especially in school zones and pedestrian-dense areas. For more information on child pedestrian safety, how to become a Pace Car Community, and the Walk This Way program, visit http://parachutecanada.org.
Parachute’s Walk This Way pedestrian safety program is generously funded by FedEx Corp., to provide year-round education, resources and support for parents and community groups to increase the safety of their streets. Parachute has also recently adopted a Vision Zero approach to their road safety activities. This framework puts safety over speed and aims to eliminate road fatalities. More information on the program can be found at http://www.visionzeronetwork.ca.
All stats can be found in the following report: http://ccmta.ca/images/publications/pdf//CCMTA_Pedestrian_Report_Eng_FINAL.pdf
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 $60 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 400,000 team members to remain "absolutely, positively" focused on safety, the highest ethical and professional standards and the needs of their customers and communities. To learn more about how FedEx connects people and possibilities around the world, please visit http://about.fedex.com.
Parachute is Canada’s only national charity dedicated to stopping preventable injuries, which cost the economy $27B each year. Preventable injuries are the #1 killer of children. One child dies every nine hours*. We have a proven cure: education, knowledge and empowerment. Support Parachute’s life-saving programs and initiatives and help create an injury-free Canada. For information, visit http://parachutecanada.org, and follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.
* For the age group of 0-19 years.
For more information:
Julie Taylor, Parachute