In October 2012, 15-year-old Christina Morris-Ward was struck and killed as she distractedly crossed the street on her way to Seneca Valley High School in Germantown. Last week, Montgomery County Department of Transportation (MCDOT) and Montgomery County Public Schools were at Seneca Valley HIgh School to announce their YOLO (You Only Live Once) education program to reduce pedestrian crashes involving teens.

This high school focused campaign adapts the regional Street Smart “Tired Faces” campaign, a public safety campaign focused on safe walking, bicycling and driving targeted at adults. Messages such as “Smart phones can make you do stupid things.”and “This song is to die for.” call attention to distracted walking and walking with earphones in while crossing the street. The campaign uses the hashtag #YOLOwalksafe.

All resources in the online toolkit, including posters and a toolkit of pedestrian safety campaign ideas for teens are available for FREE on the Montgomery County Public Schools website.

MCDOT has been engaging high schools with pedestrian safety campaigns since 2012 with their “Hey You, I ‘m Looking at You” pedestrian safety campaign at Blair High School. Collision data from around Blair High School showed that those under 20 years of age and those over 50 have been involved in all collisions, mostly during daylight hours. In the 2013-2014 school year, the “Walk Your Way” program encouraged teens to apply for $2,000 grants to create, design, and implement their own pedestrian safety campaign at their school. More about their pedestrian safety program is available on their website.

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