ST. PAUL, Minn. — In March, 3M announced a commitment to help increase safety and visibility in 100 school zones in 23 countries by 2024.
To date, 3M has completed 32 transformational projects to install high-performance road materials to help protect the lives of our most vulnerable pedestrians – children. Those efforts so far are helping 10,000 children in 21 countries get to school – and back home safely again – putting 3M on track to meet its goal by the end of 2024.
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. 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 is committed to working with NGOs and government agencies to improve safety in school zones and we have all the actors coming together to rally around this effort,” said Dan Chen, president, 3M Transportation Safety Division. “I’m excited about the progress we’ve made so far and looking forward to continuing to help create safer roads for children. Through partnerships, technology, and regulations, we can scale solutions and build durable momentum towards improving road safety for children.”
One of the school zone projects 3M completed this year was in Higashine City, Yamagata, Japan. At Higashine Chubu Elementary School, 3M worked with local officials to install reflective materials to make students’ routes to school more visible. One student noted a change in motorists’ behavior after the improvements were installed. “There were many cars speeding on the road in front of the school, but when drivers noticed the school’s location, they started to slow down and pay attention to the crosswalks.”
Here’s a look at some of the other projects 3M has collaborated on with communities and organizations around the world:
- Nashville – 3M worked 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 include the installation of reflective signs, visible street markings and pedestrian crosswalks.
- Mexico City – As part of the School Zone Safety program, 3M installed a crosswalk and reflective signage near a school in Mexico City. The crosswalk used 3M’s Pavement Marking technology — a straightforward but effective strategy that catches the attention of children and drivers alike. The signage used 3M’s Diamond Grade™ DG³ Reflective Sheeting which is high contrast and more conspicuous than conventional sheeting, even in inclement weather.
- Klang, Selangor, Malaysia – 3M Malaysia along with the Malaysia Institute of Transport launched a pilot project at a school that serves visually impaired students. The installation includes markings to help guide visually impaired students within the school.
For more than eight decades, the mission of 3M’s Transportation Safety Division has been to help bring families home safely. 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 is helping make city streets safer for all – whether in a car, on a bike or on foot.
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 help 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.