Clearfield, PA – The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) today announced that a team of students from the Juniata County School District has been selected as the PennDOT District 2-0 winner for its second Innovations Challenge.
Mentored by Raina Haubert, team members were Carl Fowler and Trevor Kinsloe.
Since last fall, students have been working hard to solve this year’s challenge, which asked students to look at innovative methods, aside from laws and educational campaigns, that can be developed in the next five to 10 years to get drivers to slow down in work zones.
“Every day, construction workers on Pennsylvania roadways face a dangerous threat in work zones,” said PennDOT Secretary Leslie S. Richards. “Despite increased enforcement efforts, work zone signage and smartphone alerts, drivers continue to commit traffic violations in work zones, which can lead to crashes or tragically someone being killed. We challenged our next generation of leaders to become an active part of the solution by developing innovative ways to tackle this transportation issue.”
The winning regional team’s innovation was “Narrow Lanes, Slow Traffic.” The concept would see lane widths in work zones narrowed to the minimum allowable by PennDOT standards. Cones and pavement markings would be used in place of physical barriers to allow vehicles clearance to move through the zone.
Now in its second year, the PennDOT Innovations Challenge invites high school students in grades 9-12 to use their problem-solving, creative and strategic-thinking abilities to solve real-world transportation challenges. The Innovations Challenge aims to not only help students explore actual transportation challenges that PennDOT is facing, but also open their minds to the very real possibility of working for PennDOT after graduation.
“We offer our congratulations to the team and wish them good luck moving forward,” said Karen Michael, PennDOT District Executive. “The students participating in this challenge today are the leaders of tomorrow, and we were excited to see their ideas to combat this real-world problem. We hope this program will continue to grow in the coming years and that some of these future leaders will join the ranks of the PennDOT workforce.”
Regional winners will now move on to compete in Harrisburg on April 10 for the state championship. The statewide winning team will be awarded $1,500 from the Pennsylvania Chapter of the American Traffic Safety Services Association (ATSSA) to be divided among team members.
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MEDIA CONTACT: Timothy Nebgen, Safety Press Officer, 814-765-0598