Safe Kids, FedEx Aim to Improve Pedestrian Safety for Memphis School

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Safe Kids Mid-South and FedEx are targeting individual schools to begin to permanently improve walking conditions around the school. Memphis is the first in the nation to receive a FedEx grant of $40,000 to fund the project.

For 13 years, Safe Kids and FedEx Corporation have worked to combat dangerous walking conditions for children walking to and from school through their Walk This Way program. Walk This Way is a worldwide program designed to teach safe behaviors to motorists and child pedestrians and to create safer, more walkable communities.

In Memphis, several child pedestrians are killed or injured each year.

This year, Safe Kids Mid-South and FedEx are targeting individual schools to begin to permanently improve walking conditions around the school.

Memphis is the first in the nation to receive a FedEx grant of $40,000 to fund the project. Safe Kids and FedEx will convene a group of community leaders and pedestrian safety advocates on Aug. 21 – 22 to select a school in need of the most pedestrian safety improvements. The task force will work over the next 10 months to permanently improve the school’s walking conditions for students. Walk This Way will implement similar projects in other communities throughout the country and in 10 countries worldwide.

Schools to visit, based on pedestrian injury data, Aug. 21-22 will include AB Hill Elementary, Lester Elementary, Lincoln Elementary, Dunbar Elementary, Hanley Elementary, Orleans Elementary, Riverview Elementary and Treadwell Elementary.

The group will then review observations made, brainstorm countermeasures, education and enforcement programs that would be appropriate and select the intervention site. By the close of the two-day workshop, the task force will develop an action plan needed to complete the project.

“More than 3,400 pedestrian/motor vehicle crashes occurred in Memphis between 2003 and 2011. Of those, nearly a quarter involved pedestrians ages 14 years old or younger,” said Susan Helms, director of Safe Kids Mid-South and Injury Prevention at Le Bonheur Children’s.

Children should feel safe walking to and from school, said Helms, and for one school, changes are just around the corner.