Safe Kids Worldwide is a global nonprofit organization that works to protect kids from preventable injury – the number one killer of children in the United States. In an effort to support this cause, General Motors partnered with the organization to create the Safe Kids Safe Ride program, which is also endorsed by the Shanghai Public Security Bureau’s Traffic Police Corps, the Shanghai Municipal Center of Disease Control & Prevention, and the Administrative Office of the Shanghai Municipal Education Commission’s Juvenile Protection Committee. The program, now in its third year, was recently launched in Shanghai on June 18.
As one might expect, the program aims to reduce vehicle-related child injuries and raise public awareness of the need to protect children inside and around vehicles. The theme for 2016 is Love & Smile, and it encourages parents to put a smile on the face of their children by ensuring they sit in child safety seats when riding in a vehicle (ironically this will probably make most kids frown).
GM China is supporting community outreach programs at venues such as shopping centers, pre-schools, and residential areas to inform others about vehicle safety. It will also hold activities at 30 preschools across China training teachers so that they may adequately educate their students in regards to automotive safety.
“Ensuring the protection of road and vehicle users is a priority for General Motors,” said GM Executive Vice President and GM China President Matt Tsien. “By working together, we can educate the passengers of today and the drivers of tomorrow to develop good vehicle safety habits.”
GM China is also teaming up with the the Shanghai Traffic Police Corps to produce a video reminding people to always look before opening their car doors. This is in response to China’s increasingly crowded streets, which have made getting out of vehicles a concern for traffic authorities.
“Traffic-related issues are the major cause of injuries among children in China. Nearly 20,000 children are injured annually. Proper road safety behaviors such as using car seats, not leaving children alone in vehicles and paying close attention to children around vehicles require the strenuous effort of parents,” said Monica Cui, executive director of Safe Kids China.
The Safe Kids Safe Ride may be taking small steps, but it is making a difference, which is why it received the Road Safety Education Best Practice Award from Southern Weekly. Last year, GM China employees visited 30 schools and volunteered more than 2,300 hours of their time for the program. Teachers from 10 cities also used materials provided by the program, reaching out to over 50,000 children and their parents.