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SafeStreets SmartTrips 2015MassDOT this week at the annual Moving Together Conference recognized the work of high school students across the commonwealth through its Safe Street Smart Trips statewide high school video contest.

Submissions from Lexington High School and Natick High School were awarded the grand prize for junior/senior and freshman/sophomore categories, respectively, while Everett High School and Millis High School took home runner up awards. Additionally, honorable mentions were given to students from Mashpee High School and Global Learning Charter Public School in New Bedford.

Please view the videos on the MassDOT You Tube channel.

The video competition is an initiative within the Massachusetts Strategic Highway Safety Plan to showcase the importance of safe walking, bicycling and driving behaviors, while highlighting healthy and active methods of travel.

“Safe and healthy transportation has always been of the utmost importance to MassDOT, which is why it is such a pleasure to recognize students who actively engage and educate their peers on the importance of these issues,” said MassDOT Secretary and CEO Stephanie Pollack. “By showcasing the proper awareness needed when walking, biking, and driving, these students are helping to create a safer Massachusetts.”

This is the second year for the Safe Streets Smart Trips video contest, which has now doubled in size, with over 90 videos submitted from over 40 different communities throughout the Commonwealth. The contest originally started as part of a multiagency, multidisciplinary effort within the Bicycle and Safety Awareness Program with the aim of educating individuals on not only the health benefits of active transportation, but also the precautions necessary to stay safe, with the ultimate goal of reducing pedestrian and bicycle-related crashes within Massachusetts.

“By reaching out to these students with a call to action on how to demonstrate proper pedestrian and bicycle safety, we not only get them to think about these issues, we instill these safe behaviors in them for the future,” said MassDOT Highway Administrator Thomas Tinlin. “With so many excellent videos submitted this year, it’s clear to see that these students understand a safer and healthier Massachusetts is of paramount importance.”

Traffic fatalities and injuries in Massachusetts have declined over the past few years. However, pedestrian and bicycle-related crashes have not followed this trend. This year’s contest asked students to address statewide statistics that one pedestrian is killed every five days, and one bicyclist is killed every month, and/or two pedestrians are hospitalized every day and once bicyclist is hospitalized every three days. Additionally, they were asked to depict the benefits of healthy transportation choices.

Learn more about the Safe Streets Smart Trips high school video contest.

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