BOSTON — The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) is now accepting entries for its tenth annual Safe Streets Smart Trips high school video contest. The contest is part of an initiative of the Massachusetts Strategic Highway Safety Plan to promote safe walking, bicycling, and driving behaviors in Massachusetts.
The contest began in 2014 and is open to all public high school students in Massachusetts to participate.
“The contest allows students to collaborate, be inventive and strategize impactful public messages on roadway safety,” said Gina Fiandaca, Transportation Secretary and CEO. “As we mark its tenth anniversary, we aim to spread these messages to safeguard our community.”
The contest is segmented into two categories: Freshman/Sophomore and Junior/Senior. Contestants are tasked with scripting and producing a video, 30-60 seconds in length, emphasizing the newly instated vulnerable user laws in the state.
These laws, effective since April 2023, expanded the classification of “vulnerable user” to cover more transportation types. With nearly 20% of serious motor vehicle incidents involving such users, the broader definition aims to enhance safety on Massachusetts roads. The laws also advocate for increased safe passing distances, rear light mandates for bicyclists, lower speed limits in densely populated zones, truck safety equipment, and a uniform crash reporting tool.
MassDOT will conduct a virtual information session on August 24 to address any queries regarding the contest. Interested educators and students can sign up for the information session now.
A panel from MassDOT will select the grand prize, runner-up, and honorable mention videos from both categories. The winning entries will be showcased at the MassDOT’s annual active transportation conference, Moving Together, on October 4, 2023. Grand prize winners will be awarded $600 Amazon gift cards, and runner-up participants will receive $300 Amazon gift cards. Top videos might also feature in upcoming safety promotions.