Event at D.C.’s Shepherd Elementary School is one of hundreds around the world during Global Road Safety Week
Washington D.C. (May 5, 2015) – U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx (pictured left with student Laterra Dakka), D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser and Safe Kids Worldwide CEO Kate Carr joined students, parents and faculty today at D.C.’s Shepherd Elementary School to raise awareness and advocate for changes that will improve road safety for kids.
According to a multi-country research report by Safe Kids Worldwide, Safe Roads Safe Kids: Global Road Safety for Children, road traffic injuries are the leading cause of death among children ages 5 to 19, both in the United States and around the world. In fact, globally, more than 500 children are killed on or around roads every day, and tens of thousands are injured, often with lifelong disabilities.
To address this issue, the United Nations has designated May 4 – 10 as Global Road Safety Week, with special attention on the safety of children. The event at Shepherd Elementary was one of hundreds of events taking place around the world as part of the #SaveKidsLives campaign, which is focused on delivering the Child Declaration for road safety, a document drafted by children, to policymakers at all levels.
More than 100,000 people have signed the Child Declaration thus far, including the students at Shepherd Elementary School. Students then delivered the signed Declaration to Secretary Foxx and Mayor Bowser, calling for strong action to enhance safety for children.
“Making the road safer for our kids means stressing how important it is for kids to wear a helmet and cross at the crosswalk,” said Secretary Foxx. “We also have to make sure our roads are safe for our children, which means investing in sidewalks, bike lanes and technologies that will protect pedestrians of all ages.”
“I am committed to taking a comprehensive approach to transportation safety,” said Mayor Bowser. “From behavior to road design, we will make Washington a safer place to visit, live and play. Initiatives like Global Road Safety Week play a crucial role to improve road safety for children in the District and around the globe.”
Chief of Police Cathy L. Lanier and National Highway Traffic Safety Administrator Mark R. Rosekind also attended the event, which was sponsored by FedEx and the General Motors Foundation.
“In support of UN Global Road Safety Week, FedEx is sponsoring dozens of related events with Safe Kids Worldwide across the U.S. and around the world,” said Matthew Thornton, III, senior vice president, U.S. Operations, FedEx Express. “Safety is a core value at FedEx. Working with Safe Kids over the last 15 years, FedEx has helped reach more than 10 million children around the world with lifesaving road safety programs.”
“General Motors and the General Motors Foundation have proudly supported Safe Kids Worldwide for nearly two decades,” said Greg Martin, executive director, General Motors Company and GM Foundation Board Member. "Through a variety of programs, GM, its dealers, and employees work hard around the world to keep children and families safe in and around cars. Keeping the spotlight and focus on road safety will help to deliver even more safety gains and that's why we fully back and applaud the efforts of all during Global Road Safety Week."
The Safe Roads Safe Kids: Global Road Safety for Children research report combined findings from 6,000 parents surveyed in six countries: Brazil, China, India, Qatar, South Africa and the United States.
The report revealed that more than 90 percent of parents surveyed in Brazil, China, India, Qatar and South Africa want more to be done to improve road safety for children. And in India, 66 percent of parents surveyed think it is likely their child will be seriously hurt in a road traffic crash in the next year.
“Global road safety for children is an overlooked but very real health epidemic,” said Kate Carr, president and CEO of Safe Kids Worldwide. “It is time for us to join hands to comprehensively improve road safety for children. Working together we can protect our most vulnerable road users – children walking to school, riding bicycles and traveling in cars and motorcycles.”
Safe Kids Worldwide is also sponsoring Global Road Safety Week events in more than 60 locations in almost 20 countries to reach policymakers who can make a difference in the lives of children.
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About Safe Kids Worldwide
Safe Kids Worldwide is a nonprofit organization working to prevent childhood injury, the number one cause of death to children in the United States. Throughout the world, almost one million children die of an injury each year, and almost every one of these tragedies is preventable. Safe Kids works with an extensive network of more than 500 coalitions in the U.S. and with partners in more than 25 countries to reduce traffic injuries, drownings, falls, burns, poisonings and more. Since 1988, Safe Kids has helped reduce the U.S. childhood death rate from unintentional injury by 60 percent. Working together, we can do much more for kids everywhere. Join our effort at safekids.org.
#SaveKidsLives is the worldwide and official campaign for the Third United Nations Global Road Safety Week (4-10 May 2015). The campaign is calling for action to save children’s lives on the roads around the world. It does so by highlighting the plight of children on the roads; generating worldwide action to better ensure the safety of children on the roads; and calling for inclusion of safe and sustainable transport in the post-2015 development agenda. The campaign operates on the principles of the Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020 and is managed by a broad coalition of members from the United Nations Road Safety Collaboration.