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The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) recently announced the winners of the Safe Streets Smart Trips statewide high school video contest. Submissions from Belmont High School and Maynard High School were awarded the grand prize for the freshman/sophomore, and junior/senior categories, respectively. Runner up awards went to a group of students from Monomoy High School and Plymouth North High School. Additionally, honorable mentions were given to groups of students from Dartmouth High School and Westford Academy. The winning student-groups created one-minute PSA videos, highlighting the importance of safe driving, walking, and bicycling, while eliminating distracting behaviors.
This is the fifth year of the contest, which continues to be popular among high school students, as more than 70 videos were submitted from more than two dozen communities. The contest originally began as an initiative within the Massachusetts Strategic Highway Safety Plan (SHSP) to showcase the importance of safe walking, biking, and driving behaviors, while highlighting healthy and active methods of travel, with the goal of reducing pedestrian and bicycle-related crashes within Massachusetts.
While traffic fatalities and injuries in Massachusetts have declined over the past few years, pedestrian and bicycle-related crashes have unfortunately not followed suit. As such, MassDOT recognizes the importance of educating students early-on regarding the importance of roadway safety to help reverse the trend of pedestrian and bicycle-related incidents.
“We were pleased to once again this year watch the videos which are highly informative and to also see so many young people taking the lead by educating their friends about the importance of walking, biking and driving distraction-free,” said MassDOT Secretary and CEO Stephanie Pollack.“The videos submitted for the Safe Streets Smart Trips contest were all ‘winners’ in the sense that by producing the videos, students increased their own awareness of safe behaviors.”
Students with winning submissions were recognized on Thursday, Nov. 1, at MassDOT’s annual Moving Together Conference (shown above). Videos were shown during the luncheon portion of the conference, with the winners called to the stage to accept their awards from Secretary Pollack and FMCB and MassDOT Board Director Monica Tibbits-Nutt. The video submissions can be found on the MassDOT YouTube site through the Safe Streets Smart Trips video playlist at http://www.youtube.com/user/youmovemass/playlists .
“The dedication these students have shown toward educating their peers about roadway safety behaviors is really gratifying to see,” said MassDOT Highway Administrator Jonathan Gulliver. “Proper, distraction-free walking, biking, and driving practices are crucial to keeping Massachusetts communities safe and healthy.”
Sponsors that donated items for prize packs include Friendly’s, LimeBike, and the New England Aquarium.
To learn more about the 2018 Moving Together healthy transportation conference visit http://www.umasstransportationcenter.org/assnfe/ev.asp?ID=4023.