Wolf Administration Honors Students for Creative Safety Messages

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The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT), along with Pennsylvania school bus safety advocates, honored four students for communicating important school bus safety messages through their entries in the 2020 School Bus Safety Poster Contest.

The students, in kindergarten through eighth grade, were mailed certificates and trophies recognizing their winning entries in the contest.

In a school year cut short by the pandemic, this year’s winners were chosen from 30 student entries solicited from schools across Pennsylvania. The first-place entries will move on to the national competition, which will be judged at a later date.

The theme for this year’s contest – “Be Safe – Know the Danger Zone” – reminds students to stay 10 feet from the bus as it approaches the bus stop and while loading and unloading. The 10-foot rule affords bus drivers an unobstructed view of students so that a potentially life-threatening situation can be avoided.

“With their talent and creativity, these young artists help us share important safety messages through their creations,” said PennDOT Secretary Yassmin Gramian. “This year’s creations reinforce the importance of staying out of the bus drivers’ blind spot so that they can clearly see students – a smart choice that can save lives.”

2020 School Bus Safety Poster Contest Winners include:

Kindergarten – Grade 2
1st Place: Aarav Nagarkoti, Montour Elementary School, Coraopolis, Allegheny County

Grades 3 – 5
1st Place: Nishika Reddy Chandupatla, Franklin Elementary School, Sewickley, Allegheny County
2nd Place: Arjun Kairi, Mount Lebanon Montessori School, Pittsburgh, Allegheny County
3rd Place: Chester Irby, Fort Cherry Elementary, Hickory, Washington County

No qualifying entries were submitted for Division 4 (Grades 6-8). There were no entries received this year for the Special Education or Computer Aided Drawing categories.

Historically, a portion of the awards ceremonies are dedicated to winners of the Pennsylvania School Bus Driver Safety Competition, however, the June competition was cancelled this year..

“Bus drivers do an extraordinary job every day ensuring the safety of our children as they travel to and from school,” said Corporal Zeina Black, permits and bus safety unit supervisor in the Commercial Vehicle Safety Division of the Bureau of Patrol for the Pennsylvania State Police. “Through their continuing record of safely transporting students, school bus drivers earn the trust and faith that parents put in them daily.”

Governor Tom Wolf has proclaimed October 21-25 School Bus Safety Week in Pennsylvania. To help reinforce the importance of school bus safety, the Pennsylvania Departments of Transportation and Health, as well as the Pennsylvania State Police and other safety partners, have produced short video messages which are running on PennDOT’s social media platforms during the week. Visit the Department’s Facebook page at: www.facebook.com/PennsylvaniaDepartmentofTransportation; Instagram at www.instagram.com/PennsylvaniaDOT, or Twitter at www.twitter.com/PennDOTNews to view.

For more information about school bus safety, visit PennDOT’s highway safety website, www.penndot.gov/safety, select the “Traffic Safety and Driver Topics” tab then select the “School Bus Safety” tab. The website also offers an interactive video illustrating Pennsylvania’s school bus stopping law.