Walk This Way program champions pedestrian safety

Be A.W.A.R.E as children head back-to-school

TORONTO, Aug. 27, 2015 /CNW/ - With children getting ready to head back to school this September, Parachute and FedEx Express Canada are launching the Walk This Way program to keep our children safe.

For over 15 years, Parachute and FedEx Express Canada have been delivering Walk This Way, a national awareness campaign to remind parents and drivers about road safety and ensuring children can walk safely to and from school. Walk This Way asks drivers to exercise caution; slow down and drive the speed limit in residential areas; and stop at all school crossings. Parents are urged to act as role models for their children and demonstrate safe pedestrian practices. 

More than 25 children are killed and nearly 2,300 seriously injured in a typical school year and children aged 10-14 are at highest risk. 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.

"Back-to-school is a great time to remind everyone to stay aware on the roads," says Louise Logan, Parachute's President and CEO. "Parents have a great opportunity to act as role models, showing their children safe pedestrian practices. "We are also asking drivers to reduce speed and focus on keeping pedestrians safe. Working together, we can ensure our kids will be able to walk to school safely all year long."

Through the Walk This Way program, Parachute and FedEx offer the following A.W.A.R.E. tips to stay safe when heading back to school:

  • Act as a role model for your children. Teach by demonstrating safe pedestrian practices – crossing only at intersections, stop signs and crosswalks.
  • Walk with children. As children grow they gain the developmental skills and experience to cross the street on their own.
  • Assess your environment and route to school. Use changes to the environment (e.g. seasonal differences or construction work) to remind children how to cross safely.
  • Reduce your driving speed. Pedestrians have less than a 50 per cent chance of surviving a collision if struck by a car travelling 45 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.

Another effective way for neighbourhoods to increase local road safety is by becoming a Pace Car community. 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 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 a national charity helping Canadians stop the clock on preventable injuries. The injury impact is staggering. Preventable injuries are the #1 killer of children. They cost the Canadian economy $27B a year, and worst of all, one child dies every nine hours. Through education, knowledge and empowerment, Parachute is working to save lives and create an injury-free Canada. For information, visit us at parachutecanada.org, follow us on Twitter, or join us on Facebook.

SOURCE Parachute

For further information: Feria Kazemi, Parachute, 647-776-5134, fkazemi@parachutecanada.org

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