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3M Announces School Zone Transformations To Increase Pedestrian Visibility And Road Safety

  • 3M commits to serve as a global model to help children worldwide get to school safely
  • 3M to work with local NGOs and government agencies to increase safety and visibility in 100 school zones in 23 countries, including Malaysia and ten other countries in Asia, by 2024
  • GT Lim, Country Leader for 3M Malaysia highlights the need to protect children in a post-pandemic world, adding that the company has been collaborating with Malaysian Institute of Road Safety Research to safeguard Malaysian school children



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 safety and visibility in 100 school zones in 23 countries, including Malaysia and ten other countries in Asia, around the world by 2024.

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 recognises the urgency in addressing these dangers and the need for safer school zones.

“3M’s commitment to improve school zone safety centres 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.”

As part of its ongoing commitment to road and transportation safety, 3M commissioned third-party independent research in 11 countries back in 2021 to identify the top concerns of adults relative to getting to and from home safely, as well as their views on the current state of transportation safety in their communities.

In APAC, as many as 46% of those surveyed reported having a family member or close friend who has died or been seriously injured in a traffic accident, significantly higher than the 33% globally. Ranking high among community transportation safety concerns, 84% of parents (vs 75% globally) are concerned about getting their children to and from school safely.

In Malaysia alone, over half a million traffic accidents were recorded from March 2020 to October 2021, of which 5,412 cases were fatal with 5,739 deaths.

With that, GT Lim, Country Leader of 3M Malaysia highlighted 3M Malaysia’s support for the initiative, adding that it’s a timely move to protect the leaders of tomorrow. “As children around the world return to school after some time spent learning online due to the pandemic, it’s our duty to protect them best as we can. To this end, 3M Malaysia has been collaborating with Malaysian Institute of Road Safety Research to further drive this important message and protect our school 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 behaviour 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 organisations 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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