Engaging partners to improve the safety of children around schools in China
Since the establishment of Safe Kids Worldwide in 1987, a key contributor to its success in its 21 member countries has been engagement with a range of partners, including private companies. In Shanghai, Safe Kids China determined, following a review of data on road traffic injuries, that the Pudong District had a higher traffic risk for children than the other 18 districts of the city. In response, Safe Kids China embarked on a project to improve the safety of child pedestrians in school zones.
Safe Kids China invited stakeholders to form an advocacy committee to address the numerous child pedestrian safety issues in their community. Committee members included the Shanghai Municipal Center for Disease Control and Prevention (Shanghai CDC), the Traffic Administration, the Municipal Administration of Work Safety, the Education Bureau, the Huamu Community Safety Committee, FedEx and Safe Kids China.
Safe Kids China hosted advocacy committee meetings and a community seminar, and encouraged members to conduct a needs assessment and a project to address the needs of child pedestrians as identified by the community.
Each organization participated on the basis of its own area of expertise: the Traffic Administration measured the speed of cars passing the school zone and worked together with the Sanitation Department, Green Department and Huamu Community Safety Committee to relocate trash bins and plants that blocked access to pedestrian crossings; FedEx, the Education Bureau and Safe Kids China worked with students to map their routes to school and teach them about safe pedestrian behaviour; and community and parent volunteers participated in the school crossing guard initiative.
The Shanghai CDC coordinated with the Traffic Administration to review citywide road traffic data, led the baseline survey in the Huamu community and engaged six additional districts which later adopted the project.
As a direct result of the project, improvements were made to infrastructure around the schools in the district, including the establishment of student drop-off and pick-up zones, upgraded pedestrian crossings, and creation of temporary parking areas; development of a crossing guard protocol; an increase in traffic signage knowledge among students, and improved child road safety behaviour.