Safe Kids Foundation and FedEx Introduce the Walk This Way Pedestrian Safety Program in Ahmedabad

Program Aims to Create Safer, Pedestrian-Friendly Communities by Raising Awareness of Road Safety Among Motorists and Children

AHMEDABAD, June 24, 2011—Safe Kids Foundation, India’s first childhood injury prevention organization, and FedEx Express, a subsidiary of FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX), and the world’s largest express transportation company, today launched the Safe Kids Walk This Way program in Ahmedabad.

The Walk This Way program brings together teachers, parents, FedEx employee volunteers and safety advocates to teach students and raise awareness of pedestrian safety. The program also aims to make the area’s school zones and neighborhoods safe for pedestrians in the long term by enhancing the local infrastructure.  Safe Kids has partnered with All India Disaster Mitigation Institute and All India Federation of Teachers Organizations (AIFTO) to bring this global program to Ahmedabad.

The World Health Organization (WHO) identifies road crashes as the leading cause of death for young people aged 10 – 24, and it is expected that by 2030 it will become the fifth-leading cause of death among all age groups.  Furthermore, it is estimated that 720 children die each day around the world as a result of collisions with vehicles on the road.  The Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India, reported that 126,896 people died as a result of road traffic accidents in 2009 alone.

The Safe Kids Walk This Way initiative is a multifaceted program that includes education, research,  environmental improvements to enhance areas where children walk, and law enforcement all working together to promote child pedestrian safety.  Since the launch of the program in India in 2007, Safe Kids Walk This Way has worked with 387,976 children across 662 schools and 30 NGOs in Mumbai and New Delhi.  In the year leading up to the launch of the Walk This Way program in Ahmedabad, the Safe Kids Foundation trained 3,200 children and 20 teachers.  The program also aims to engage a further 20,000 children from 25 schools during the 2011-2012 academic year.
Children are our future and we must do all we can to ensure their safety.  Growing urban populations and an increase in traffic volumes have created an unsafe environment for children on the roads.  Programs such as Walk This Way are vital in helping to build awareness on safe pedestrian practices among children,” said Mr. Vallabhbhai Patel (Kakadia), Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA), Gujarat Assembly, speaking at the inauguration of the Walk This Way program in Ahmedabad.
“Most children travel to places by foot, which means they encounter traffic on a very frequent basis. The Safe Kids Walk This Way program has been designed to engage children through various activities at a community level to help protect them against road accident and ultimately save lives,” said Mahendra Mehta, founder and trustee of the Safe Kids Foundation.

“At FedEx we are committed to raising awareness and educating children on road safety.  Through our decade-long alliance with Safe Kids, we are proud to say that we have already made significant progress in educating children on road safety practices to help reduce their risk of accidents,” said Kenneth F Koval, vice president, Operations, FedEx Express India.  “We are delighted to be expanding this program even further through the launch of Walk This Way in the third Indian city and we look forward to engaging our employees to help drive the program’s success even further in the coming years.”

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