New app will help students find safest school routes

Updated: Aug. 23, 2017 at 5:40 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - A new road safety app being tested in Memphis could soon help students find the safest route to walk to and from school.

Memphis is the ninth most dangerous city for pedestrians in the country, and more than a million people die worldwide every year in road crashes.

FedEx hosted and sponsored an international group that has traveled from 17 countries to test the groundbreaking new road safety app. The group spent Wednesday at Southwind Elementary School mapping out the safest walking path.

"They see people being killed," said Lotte Brondum, Head of Global Alliance of NGOs for Road Safety in Denmark. "Every day, children in their countries won't have a sidewalk like you see here and won't have a bus to take them to school like you see here."

The International Road Assessment Program, or IRAP app, allows users to determine the safety of the walking environment in school zones.

"With this, we are providing a simple tool for the communities," said Julio Urzua, Latin America Director from the International Road Safety Program.

After assessing the road conditions around the school, the researchers will go back and analyze their results to talk about the real-life application of this program to help save lives.

Once it's officially launched, the app will be available as a free download that allows people around the world to improve their communities.

"The app is so intuitive and so easy to use that volunteers, moms, dads, and even students possibly will be able to use this app to rate their schools and use it to advocate for safer schools," said Shane O'Connor, FedEx Communications Advisor.

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