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Contest raises traffic safety awareness

January 09, 2006

TOWSON, Md. - To combat the dangers of children and traffic as well as the perils and challenges facing new teen drivers, AAA Mid-Atlantic is announcing its 2005-06 Traffic Safety Poster Program.

The contest offers students an opportunity to be creative while reinforcing key messages that are critical to the safety of area youth, according to Ragina C. Averella, manager of Public and Government Affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic.

Traffic crashes are the leading killer of children ages 2 to 14, according to statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. AAA and AAA's Mid-Atlantic Foundation for Safety and Education issue traffic safety messages throughout the year, most notably in its School's Open, Drive Carefully campaign. Representatives from the foundation provide free presentations on biking, and school bus and pedestrian safety in area schools year-round as well.

In a AAA press release, Averella said the safety poster contest is an extension of AAA's school outreach as students, under an instructor's guidance, illustrate a traffic safety slogan.

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Last year, more than 3,000 schools nationwide participated in AAA's safety poster contest. The national contest will award 52 prizes totaling $18,000 in Visa Gift Checks. Contest deadlines vary by state, though most are prior to Feb. 1. Additional contest details, as well as prize information, is available online at www.aaamidatlantic.com/safety/poster_contest.asp.

Students may compete in four age-based categories. Topics vary per age group and are:

  • Primary group (kindergarten through second grade) - nighttime visibility.

  • Secondary group (grades 3 through 5) - helmet safety.

  • Junior high (grades 6 through 8) - buckle up.

  • High School (grades 9 through 12) - alcohol awareness.


Posters are pre-judged at the club level (AAA is a federation of clubs throughout North America and includes AAA Mid-Atlantic). Clubs then submit their selections to the national office for final judging. Posters and media material are evaluated according to the design's relationship to the specific traffic safety concept, originality, how the idea is expressed in the design, artwork and execution, and visual impact.

Winning designs might be featured in AAA's traffic safety education materials or promotions. Any student in the United States and Canada enrolled in grades kindergarten through 12 at a public, private or parochial school, or who is affiliated with a national youth organization, is eligible to enter the contest. Group or team entries also are accepted.

AAA Mid-Atlantic serves 3.6 million members, providing travel, automotive, insurance and financial services to residents of Maryland, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Virginia, Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

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