County Pedestrian Safety Campaign Wins National Award
The Montgomery County Department of Transportation won a 2015 Achievement Award for its program titled “YOLO (You Only Live Once) High School Pedestrian Safety Education Program” in the category of Civic Education and Public Information.
“I’m very proud that NACo has chosen to recognize the innovative YOLO (You Only Live Once) campaign that is helping to improve pedestrian safety for high school students,” said MCDOT Acting Director Al Roshdieh in a press release. “Our Safe Routes to Schools Coordinator, Nadji Kirby, who developed the program, is making a real difference in reducing collisions near both public and private schools. The very innovative YOLO campaign is just one of the ways that our Traffic Engineering and Operations staff and others in MCDOT are successfully improving pedestrian safety throughout the County.”
The YOLO campaign includes a toolkit distributed to every county high school to reduce student collisions by raising awareness of the risks of distracted walking and other dangerous pedestrian behaviors.
The death of 15-year-old Christina Morris-Ward prompted the creation of YOLO. She was a student at Seneca Valley High School in Germantown and in October 2012 was struck and killed as she distractedly crossed the street on her way to school. According to Safe Kids Worldwide, about half of students ages 15 to 19 say they use a cell phone when walking to school, according to an MDOT press release.
The award is scheduled to be presented at NACo’s 2015 Annual Conference and Exposition July 10–13 in Mecklenburg County, N.C.