MassDOT and Fundación MAPFRE Announce High School Roadway Safety Public Service Contest
Contest seeks to engage students and underscore the importance of driving safely. Deadline for contest submissions is January 27, 2023
The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT), in collaboration with global nonprofit Fundación MAPFRE, is pleased to announce the launch of a new roadway safety public service contest for Massachusetts high school students. The contest, which is part of MAPFRE’s Look Both Ways Program, seeks to help students raise awareness with their peers and underscore the importance of being safe while driving on roadways across the Commonwealth. Safety experts and state officials caution that, as data for 2022 continues to be received and analyzed, the results could show a third straight yearly increase in road-related fatalities.
“Peer to peer education can be highly effective,” said Transportation Secretary and CEO Jamey Tesler. “MassDOT is pleased to collaborate with Fundación MAPFRE to get students involved to increase awareness in regard to road safety. We know safety can be increased by engaging young people to get the word out that crashes are preventable if drivers travel at or below the speed limit, wear seatbelts, drive sober, scan the streets for people walking and biking, avoid distracted driving, and obey other rules of the road.”
“Road safety is a critical issue facing society today, especially among our youngest drivers,” said Jaime Tamayo, Chief Representative of Fundación MAPFRE in the United States and CEO of MAPFRE USA. “A student-led message can, in many ways, be more impactful, and we are excited to help students use their voices to make a difference.”
To enter the contact, high schools simply visit: lookbothwayssafety.org/psa-contest. The deadline for contest submissions is 5:00 p.m. on Friday, January 27, 2023. The students with the winning submission will work with the Boston Creative Communications Agency (CTP) to produce the spot which is anticipated to timely air in the spring before prom and graduation season. Additionally, the students’ school will receive $3,000 provided by Fundación MAPFRE, toward road safety education.
Look Both Ways aims to eliminate road-related fatalities and serious injury, connecting high schools and colleges with the program’s “React Challenge.” The mobile interactive virtual reality station tests students’ safe driving ability when faced with distractions behind the wheel.
According to the Massachusetts Strategic Highway Safety Plan, roadway deaths in Massachusetts reached a 14-year high in 2021, increasing year-over-year since 2019, with 2022 trending higher. The state experienced 418 traffic fatalities in 2021, compared to 343 in 2020 and 336 in 2019. Nationally, nearly 43,000 people died in traffic crashes in 2021. From 2019 to 2021, the number of U.S. pedestrians killed increased by 18 percent (7,342 deaths) and the number of bicyclists killed increased by 16 percent (985 deaths), accounting for 19% of all U.S. traffic fatalities in 2021. In Massachusetts in the last five years, people walking and biking accounted for almost 22% of deaths on the roadways.
About Fundación MAPFRE’s Road Safety Initiative: Fundación MAPFRE, a non-profit based in Madrid, Spain, and with North American headquarters in Webster, Massachusetts, aims to promote the well-being of society and citizens. Prevention and Road safety is an action area to which the foundation is dedicated. It believes that if the Vision Zero movement in 1997 led to a revolution in our understanding of Road Safety, the current goal should be to reach the point where there are no fatalities or people injured in traffic crashes.