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November 23, 2011

Road Safety Wood Buffalo & St. Martha School have recently been selected to participate in a global pedestrian safety initiative: The Model School Zone Project.

This project is Safe Kids Worldwide’s contribution to the World Health Organization’s Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020. Ten countries are participating in this project: Canada, USA, Mexico, Brazil, India, Philippines, Vietnam, China, Korea, and Thailand. Each country had to select one school nationally to participate. Road Safety Wood Buffalo submitted an application on behalf of our community and are pleased to announce that St. Martha School in Fort McMurray was chosen for this international project.

Due to the large number of children exposed to vehicles around schools, this initiative will focus on pedestrian safety for children in school zones by implementing various interventions. Based on an assessment around St. Martha School and student knowledge and behavior, interventions will be tailored to the school environment including road safety education and infrastructure improvements.

In addition to improving child pedestrian safety at St. Martha School, this pilot study will serve as an example to other schools, governments and organizations working to improve safety by showing the importance of tools and methods for identifying environmental and behavioural risks, the effectiveness of interventions, and the value of data analysis. The project will run October 2011-March 2013. Local stakeholders involved in this project include: RMWB, RCMP, Office of Traffic Safety, Alberta Health Services, Mammoet, Diversified, Victim Services and Safe Community Wood Buffalo.

In our region in 2010 there were:

  • 25 pedestrian casualties, which was 7.1% of all reported traffic injuries.
  • In over half of injury collisions, the driver made an improper action that contributed to the collision
  • 31% of injury collisions occurred at intersections.
  • November was the month with the most injury collisions and pedestrian casualties.

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