Thursday, May 31, 2012
As part of Montgomery County’s efforts to improve pedestrian safety in areas with the highest densities of collisions, the County recently launched a campaign aimed at high school students in the Four Corners area of Silver Spring. An event was held at the school with a professional photographer taking pictures of competing teens’ eyes. The eyes of two winners, Hillary Yeboah and John Parsley, were featured on posters that urge pedestrians to establish eye contact with drivers and look both ways before crossing the street with the theme “Hey You, I’m Looking at You!”
A group of Montgomery Blair high school students was involved in developing the public education campaign aimed at teens. Collision data from the Four Corners area shows that those under 20 years of age and those over 50 have been involved in all collisions, mostly during daylight hours.
Also, during the month of May, Montgomery Blair students had the opportunity to answer text message questions about pedestrian safety to win gift cards and other prizes, while learning to be safe pedestrians. Students could access the correct responses to the questions by visiting the website http://www.blairwalkproject.com/. Participating students received silicone wristbands – called SWAG Bracelets - that feature pedestrian safety messages that are either SWAG or FAIL. While to “Make Eye Contact,” “Use Crosswalks,” and “Look Both Ways,” are clearly SWAG behaviors, to “Text + Walk,” or “Get Hit by a Bus,” are clearly FAILS! SWAG and FAIL are slang for good and bad, respectively. In addition, SWAG was used as the campaign acronym, and stands for:
See them see you
Wait for the walk
Always use crosswalks
The bracelets serve as reminders of safe pedestrian behaviors to the teen wearers, as well as other students.
The winner of the pedestrian safety text messaging contest, freshman Cullen Morris, was presented the grand prize at a ceremony on June 7.
MCDOT Director Art Holmes and Montgomery Blair High School Principal Renay Johnson and Assistant Principal Andrew Coleman presented Morris with a new iPad. Morris was chosen in a random drawing out of more than 1,300 correct student entries to win the grand prize. In addition, 12 students received gift certificates to Chipotle during the month of May for correctly answering pedestrian-safety related questions. Pedestrian safety efforts will continue at Blair High School next year.
Click here to see the Transportation Update on the Blair Walk Project.