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

100 school commitment to serve as a global model in helping children get to school safely

ST. PAUL, Minn., March 16, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- 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 today its commitment to increase safety and visibility in 100 school zones in 23 countries around the world by 2024.

3M's commitment to improve school zone safety centers on the belief that every child deserves a chance at an education.

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.

"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," says Dr. Dan Chen, president, 3M Transportation Safety Division. "Over the next two years, we will work with NGOs and government agencies to improve safety in school zones and develop a scalable model for high-risk and under-resourced communities to create safer roads for all children."

The first set of school zone transformations to happen this year in the U.S. will kick off during National Distracted Drivers Awareness Month in April. 3M will be working in the city of Nashville, Tenn., bringing together community leaders, teachers and students to raise awareness of the dangers of distracted motorist behavior in school zones. 

3M is working with Collier Engineering and Design and Civic Design Center to remodel school zone roadways at Robert Churchwell Museum Magnet Elementary School and Madison Campus Elementary School in Nashville. These transformations will include the installation of reflective signs, visible street markings and pedestrian crosswalks. 

Community collaboration

For more than eight decades, 3M's Transportation Safety Division has had the mission to advance transportation infrastructure and mobility globally. The installation of high-performance road materials and technologies, like Diamond Grade Reflective Sheeting for school zone signage and Pavement Marking Tape to help improve reflectivity and visibility for motorists and pedestrians, have helped families return home safely.

And while technology and innovation are necessary steps to create safer road conditions, 3M continues to collaborate and work with communities, civic and government leaders, policymakers, NGOs and other organizations to help lead change and create safer roadway systems globally.

As a member of the UN Global Compact, 3M believes in the role public-private partnerships can play in solving pressing global issues, such as road and transportation safety. 3M is a signatory of the Call on President Biden to End Roadway Fatalities and a pledge of the United Nations General Assembly Decade of Action for Road Safety to prevent at least 50 percent of road traffic deaths and injuries by 2030.

To get involved and learn more about 3M's School Zone Road Safety, visit 3M.com/schoolzonesafety.

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