BOSTON – The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) is pleased to announce the winners of the Safe Streets Smart Trips statewide high school video contest. Submissions from Brockton High School and Brookline 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 Westford Academy and Millis High School. Additionally, honorable mentions were given to groups of students from Silver Lake Regional High School in Kingston and Northbridge High School. The winning videos highlighted the dangers associated with distractions from technology for pedestrians, bicyclists, and drivers.

This is the fourth year of the contest, which continues to grow in popularity. 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 this trend. As such, this year’s contest asked students to think about the various ways in which the technologies they use on a daily basis can become distractions from safe pedestrian, bicycling and driving behaviors.

“The role technology plays in our daily lives is immeasurable, but it can be dangerous if we let it distract us when on the roadways,” said MassDOT Secretary and CEO Stephanie Pollack. “These videos are a way for students across the Commonwealth to take the lead and show their peers and others around Massachusetts the importance of remaining distraction-free, and staying safe while out on the roads.”

Students with winning submissions were recognized on September 28 at MassDOT’s annual Moving Together Conference. Videos were shown during the luncheon portion of the conference, with the winners called to the stage to accept their awards from MassDOT Secretary and CEO Stephanie Pollack. 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

“I am pleased to see the dedication these students have taken in educating their peers about safe roadway behaviors across multiple modes of transportation,” said MassDOT Highway Administrator Jonathan Gulliver. “By encouraging safe practices when driving, biking, and walking, these students are helping to lead the way to healthier and safer communities in Massachusetts.”

Sponsors that donated items for prize packs included Blaze Pizza, Friendly’s, Landry’s Bicycles, and the New England Aquarium.

For more information about the Safe Streets Smart Trips high school video contest visit www.Mass.gov/MassDOT/RoadwaySafetyVideo or contact Rebecca Cyr at Rebecca.Cyr@dot.state.ma.us or 857-383-3805.

To learn more about the 2017 Moving Together healthy transportation conference visit www.MovingTogetherMA.org.

For transportation news and updates visit MassDOT at our website www.Mass.gov/MassDOT, Blog: www.Mass.gov/blog/transporation, or follow MassDOT on Twitter at www.twitter.com/MassDOT.