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Global interest is growing in safer journeys to school with the pilot of the Star Rating for Schools (SR4S) app, powered by iRAP star ratings thanks to sponsorship from FedEx.

Most recently roads neighboring 54 schools in Uruguay have been assessed, with another 24 schools in Argentina soon to follow. This follows on from pilots in Memphis and Ho Chi Minh City earlier in the year.

iRAP Regional Director for the Americas and schools app lead Mr Julio Urzua said the app is a world-first innovation.  “For the first time, the capacity to undertake safety assessments of roads around schools is directly in the hands of local NGOs and the community. Globally there are many NGOs and community groups who play a role in addressing the risk that school children face on their way to and from school.” he said.

The SR4S tool will enable stakeholder groups and donors to apply the iRAP Pedestrian Star Rating in an easy to use and repeatable way. It provides an objective measure to assess the safety of school routes, guide investment, and benchmark and track safety performance over time.

“With millions of schools worldwide, the low-cost app will enable leveraged resources and an evidence-based standard for safe school journeys that ultimately save lives,” Mr Urzua said.

SR4S combines an easy-to-use android tablet app and a web-based global reporting application for processing and sharing results. The applications work together to harness the power of the iRAP Star Ratings to measure the risk children are exposed to on their journey to school.

A number of Road Safety NGO’s are facilitating the global delivery and oversight of the programme and will be the first points of contact for enquiries when the app is launched next year. These include the AIP Foundation, Amend, Federation Internationale de L’Automobile (FIA), Fundación Gonzalo Rodríguez, Global Alliance of NGOs for Road Safety, Global Road Safety Partnership (GRSP), Safe Kids Worldwide, Youth for Road Safety (YOURS), and the World Resources Institute (WRI).

On November 17, the app will be profiled at the Safe and Healthy Journeys to School Roundtable in Lusaka, Zambia, hosted by Amend and the FIA Child Health Initiative, followed by an assessment of the Justin Kabwe Primary School.

It is anticipated Star Rating for Schools will be released globally in mid-2018.

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