Students from Wantagh High School have taken the top two spots in a local video competition about pedestrian safety.
Olivia Vinson and Morgan Flaherty, both seniors, placed first and second, respectively, last month in the New York Coalition for Transportation Safety's Pedestrian Video Scholarship Competition. Vinson received a $2,000 scholarship, while Flaherty received a $1,000 scholarship.
Vinson's first-place video, which she made using iMovie software, featured a teenage girl getting struck by a car as she texts while crossing the street. The scene is followed by a series of pedestrian safety tips, such as abiding by crosswalk safety lights and yielding to vehicles if you are not using a crosswalk.
"Pedestrian safety is something a lot of people take for granted," Vinson said.
Flaherty's second-place video included statistics stating that pedestrian deaths have increased 35% over the past decade. She also advised pedestrians to wear bright clothing, walk on the sidewalk whenever possible, and make eye contact with drivers.
"Burying your head in your phone could be a death sentence," she said.
To participate, students were asked to create short videos illustrating one or more of the state's vehicle and traffic safety laws for pedestrian enforcement.
The contest was part of Walk Safe Long Island, a campaign to promote pedestrian safety and law-based education.