In 1999, Safe Kids Worldwide and FedEx created Walk This Way to bring national and local attention to pedestrian safety issues. What started as a pilot program in three U.S. cities has now grown to 11 countries around the world – Brazil, Canada, China, India, Mexico, the Philippines, South Africa, South Korea, Thailand, the United States and Vietnam – and includes more than 250 communities in the United States alone.
Walk This Way relies on FedEx employee volunteers and encourages new partners, including public officials, public agencies, community organizations and parents, to join Safe Kids Worldwide to improve conditions for child pedestrians around the globe.
Since its inception, the Walk This Way program has grown to include four main components:
Awareness and Advocacy Activities
- International Walk to School Day. In October of every year, millions of children from countries around the world participate in Safe Kids Walk This Way events for International Walk to School Day.
- Halloween Safety/Fall Harvest Activities. In the United States on average, children are more than twice as likely to be hit by a car and killed on Halloween than on any other day of the year. Safe Kids host events to educate families about safety risks and to promote visibility.
- Safe School Zones. Each year, coalitions around the country create local task forces with the goal of improving pedestrian conditions for children by making long-term environmental improvements.
- Model School Zone. Safe Kids worked with 10 schools, one each in 10 different countries, to develop safer school zones, and in doing so, create evidence-based interventions to increase child pedestrian safety that could serve as models for other schools around the world.
- Pedestrian Safety Research. Safe Kids research and environmental assessments reveal emerging issues for child pedestrians.
- Start Safe Travel. Safe Kids works with Head Start centers to provide transportation safety information and hands-on training to staff, parents and caregivers.
- In-School Road Safety Education. Globally, 1,000 young people a day die on the roads. Safe Kids develops culturally sensitive educational materials and partners with schools, teachers’ unions and governments to provide road safety education to students.
Decade of Action for Road Safety
The United Nations General Assembly has set the goal for the decade: “to stabilize and then reduce the forecast level of road traffic fatalities around the world” by 2020. Learn more about the Decade of Action for Road Safety.
Since the Walk This Way program launched, the number of child pedestrian fatalities has decreased by 40 percent in the United States. In 2012, the program reached more than 2 million children in nearly 4,000 schools around the world with 5,411 hours of volunteer support from FedEx employees.
Through the program’s largest and most widespread activity, International Walk to School Day, Safe Kids and FedEx have engaged 8.2 million children, 16,000 FedEx volunteers and 10,000 schools in the United States in the past 13 years. In the past year, Walk This Way has improved the walking environments of 38 schools in 27 cities in eight countries.
- With support from FedEx, Safe Kids coalitions conduct more than 1,500 Safe Kids Walk This Way activities each year in the United States.
- Through strong partnerships with teachers’ unions, Safe Kids India holds more than 3,000 road safety education sessions for students each year.
- The Walk This Way program has won international and country level awards, including the Prince Michael of Kent International Road Safety Award in 2011. The Award recognizes achievements and innovations that improve road safety worldwide.
Around the World
We envision a world where every child can have a safe place to walk, play and live. We have made progress, but we will continue working with our partners around the world to increase knowledge and awareness among community members, engage policy makers and build safer walking environments. We will also find new partners who share our passion for keeping kids safe.