Back-to-School means everyone's eyes need to be on the road

TORONTO, Aug. 25, 2014 /CNW/ - With back-to-school season upon us, Parachute and FedEx Express Canada today launched the Walk This Way program to keep our children safe.

For over 10 years, FedEx and Parachute have been delivering Walk This Way, a national awareness campaign aimed at reminding parents and drivers about road safety to ensure kids can walk safely to and from school. That means drivers need to slow down in residential areas and stop at all school crossings, and parents need to show their children safe pedestrian practices.

Child pedestrian incidents are a leading cause of death for Canadian children under age 14. More than 30 children are killed and 2,400 are seriously injured in a typical year. Most incidents happen between 3 and 6 p.m., when drivers are coming home from work and children are walking home from school or after-school activities.

"We all play a role in keeping our children safe while they walk in their communities," says Lisa Lisson, president of FedEx Express Canada. "At FedEx Express we put safety above all, both in the workplace and in the communities in which we operate. Our drivers know the importance of being extra alert around school and pedestrian crossings, since these are the most important stops they make each day."

Through the Walk This Way program, Parachute and FedEx offer the following tips for back-to-school safety:

  • Teach your child to look and listen every time they cross the street.
  • Teach by doing. Be a good role model by walking with your children to school and demonstrating safe pedestrian practices – crossing only at intersections, stop signs and crosswalks.
  • Always cross with younger children. Children under the age of nine lack the developmental skills to cross the street on their own and should be accompanied either by an adult or by responsible older children.
  • Reduce your driving speed. The higher the speed, the higher the risk of injury, or even death, to a child pedestrian. In fact, pedestrians have less than a 50 per cent chance of surviving a collision if struck by a car travelling 50 km per hour or more, but a 90 per cent chance of survival if the car is travelling 30 km per hour.
  • Eliminate distractions. Cellphones and other electronic devices should not be used when walking across streets or driving.

"With school beginning next week, now is a good time for parents and children to review their school route and discuss safe cellphone use," says Louise Logan, Parachute's President and CEO. "Parents are their children's best role models. You can tell your kids what to do, but showing them is always the most effective way to teach your children the habits that will keep them safe."

Another effective way for neighbourhoods to increase local road safety is by becoming a Pace Car community. Also part of the Walk This Way program, community members can sign up to become "Pace Car drivers," displaying a Pace Car emblem on their vehicle. They pledge 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 parachutecanada.org.

Parachute is generously funded by FedEx Corp. to provide the Walk This Way pedestrian safety program year-round, providing education, resources and support for parents and community groups to increase the safety of their streets.

About FedEx

FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX) provides customers and businesses worldwide with a broad portfolio of transportation, e-commerce and business services. With annual revenues of $46 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 300,000 team members to remain "absolutely, positively" focused on safety, the highest ethical and professional standards and the needs of their customers and communities. For more information, visit news.fedex.com.

About Parachute

Parachute is dedicated to preventing injuries and saving lives. A national charity, Parachute officially formed in July 2012, when the former Safe Communities Canada, Safe Kids Canada, SMARTRISK and ThinkFirst Canada joined together to become one leader in injury prevention. Parachute's injury prevention solutions, knowledge mobilization, public policy, and social awareness efforts are designed to help keep Canadians safe.  Parachute's vision is an injury-free Canada with Canadians living long lives to the fullest.  For information, visit us at parachutecanada.org, follow us on Twitter, and join us on Facebook.

SOURCE Parachute

For further information: George James, Parachute, 647-776-5125, 416-402-3783, gjames@parachutecanada.org