The contest invites young people in grades 1 through 6 to submit a poster that warns about walking while distracted. Entries must be submitted through a school PTA Unit in New York State by May 15. The winning poster design will win $1,500 for his or her PTA Unit, and three runners-up will each win $500 for their school PTA Units.
“Distracted walking has become a big safety challenge, as more young people have cellphones and other hand-held devices,” said Michelle Anderson of The National Road Safety Foundation, a non-profit group that promotes driver and pedestrian safety. “Throughout the U.S. more than 40 young people get hit by cars every day as they walk, and the number of pedestrian injuries due to distraction from cellphones has risen 35 percent in the past three years. These are sobering statistics and we hope the Defeet Distractions New York contest will encourage young people to learn about the dangers of distraction and help make their families, friends and communities aware as well.”
“The health and safety of our children is, by far, the biggest concern of parents and teachers,” said Gracemarie Rozea, New York State PTA President. “We hope the Defeet Distractions New York contest will enhance awareness of things that can be pedestrian distractions so our children can walk safely. We want to avoid a senseless tragedy that can devastate a family and an entire school community. We believe education can make a difference.”
Details, entry forms and lesson plans for parents and teachers are available at https://nyspta.org/home/programs/everychild-travelssafely/
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Centers for Disease Control estimate more than 40,000 children suffer pedestrian injuries every year, at an annual cost in excess of $8 billion. The most common causes of pedestrian distraction among children are listening to loud music, talking with someone while crossing a street, texting or talking on the phone while walking, and playing video games while walking.
As part of the Defeet Distractions New York poster contest, The National Road Safety Foundation is making lesson plans and a student-parent no distractions pledge form available online at no charge.