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12 -April- 2022

3M announces school zone transformations to increase pedestrian visibility and road safety

Road traffic accidents are the leading cause of death for children five years and older worldwide, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

To help protect the lives of our most vulnerable pedestrians – children – 3M announced its commitment to increase road safety and visibility in 100 school zones in 23 countries around the world by 2024.

In India, 25 school zones will be spread across cities such as Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Bangalore and Chennai. While the data on child fatality is a cause of serious concern, it is pertinent to note that an estimated 472 million children under the age of 18 years live in India, and 27 percent of this child population is concentrated in urban areas (Source: Status of Children in Urban India, 2016).

Ramesh Ramadurai, Vice President and Managing Director, 3M India, said, “Most fatal crashes take place during school peak hours. Creating awareness among government stakeholders about the importance of prioritizing child safety, and providing them with the knowledge and tools to achieve the same will help in creating a safe and accessible city for our children.”

By 2030, it is estimated that 40 percent of the total population will live in urban areas. This also means that cities will become home to an increasing number of children in the upcoming decade. Therefore, the immense need to build child-friendly cities which can provide a safe and secure environment needed for the growth and well-being of children cannot be overlooked, the press statement said.

Underdeveloped roadways, a lack of crosswalks and poor visibility in school zones put our youngest pedestrians at particular risk when walking and biking to and from school. The rate at which these incidents happen drastically increases within low-income countries and communities indicating a clear need for change, according to the World Health Organization. 3M recognizes the urgency in addressing these dangers and the need for safer school zones, it said.

“3M’s commitment to improve school zone safety centers on the belief that every child deserves a chance at an education and getting to school safely shouldn’t be a barrier,” said Dr. Dan Chen, president, 3M Transportation Safety Division. “Over the next two years, we will work with NGOs and government agencies to improve road safety in school zones and develop a scalable model for high-risk and under-resourced communities to create safer roads for all children.”

News Courtesy: The Free Press Journal

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