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How FedEx makes walking in Memphis – and around the world – safer for children

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Fifteen years ago, the FedEx Global Citizenship team discovered a unique nonprofit called Safe Kids Worldwide (known then as the National Safe Kids Campaign). Their mission is to help prevent childhood injuries. With tens of thousands of vehicles on the world’s roadways and with safety a central value of the company, we approached Safe Kids about developing a child pedestrian safety campaign with support from FedEx.

We piloted the campaign in 2000 in three U.S. cities: Washington, DC; Indianapolis, IN and Memphis, TN. Since that time, the campaign has grown to include initiatives in hundreds of cities across eleven countries. Safe Kids Brazil/Criança Segura was the first Safe Kids affiliate that we sponsored outside the US. We now support ongoing child pedestrian safety programs in the US, Brazil, China, India, South Korea, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Canada, Mexico, and beginning this year, South Africa.

Road traffic injuries are a growing health crisis around the world. Each year, nearly 1.3 million people die as a result of a road traffic collision. Sadly, one in five deaths is a child. That includes more than 1,000 young people under the age of 25 every day, or one every 90 seconds.

Deaths are only part of the problem. Globally, more than 50 million people each year sustain non-fatal injuries from a collision, of those injured, 10 million are children. That’s more than 27,000 children injured in road traffic collisions each day.

FedEx is engaged in several initiatives to help fight this deadly rising tide. At the core of our efforts are our own internal Safety First programs. Our drivers receive best-in-class training on safe driving practices. As a testament to our safety record and reputation in this area, another nonprofit we support – EMBARQ – was able to repurpose our Safety First driver training materials in Mexico City and use them to help train more than 1,000 bus drivers on safe driving practices.

In 2012, FedEx joined the United Nations Global Road Safety Collaboration (UNGRSC). This collaboration is a working group of nonprofits, government agencies and corporations that are in support of the UN Decade of Action for Road Safety that was declared by the UN in 2011. The collaboration offers a unique opportunity for FedEx to network with leading global road safety organizations. This has brought opportunity to support road safety initiatives around the world.

We were introduced to the Fundación Gonzalo Rodríguez, located in Uruguay, at a meeting of the UNGRSC in Abu Dhabi, UAE. At the meeting, we discovered that the Foundation was about to host the first International Child Road Safety Forum in Latin America. We became a lead sponsor of the forum and served on an expert panel, sharing with more than 200 thought leaders what we have learned about effective child pedestrian safety programs over the past 15 years.

In addition to the UN Collaboration, Safe Kids Worldwide, EMBARQ and the Fundación Gonzalo Rodríguez, FedEx also supports the International Road Assessment Program (i-RAP), and the University of North Carolina Highway Safety Research Center.

One of the high-impact, high-outcome initiatives we have carried out in countries including the Philippines, Brazil and the US has been the implementation of environmental improvement projects. Read more about it on the Safe Kids blog.

It is our aim to continue to make a difference in road safety, helping communities become safer for pedestrians. This goes for whether you are walking in Memphis or walking in any other community around the world.

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