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PSA contest for bike/ped safety under way

By Staff | Aug 26, 2016

The city of Cape Coral wants to spread the message of the importance of biking and walking safely, and has reached out all middle and high schoolers for some help.

Students participating could win up to $1,000 toward media and bike/ped equipment for their schools and see their work shown on TV.

The city is calling on students in media and audio-visual classes and their teachers throughout Lee County to join the effort to create public service announcement videos that encourage students to learn about bicycle and pedestrian safety issues.

Carolyn Conant, of Cape Coral Bike Ped, said with 90 miles of bike routes, with many on major roadways, the need to make riding and walking safer is more important than ever.

At the same time, it should be kids who deliver that message, since youths tend to listen to their peers more than adults.

“We believe that peer-to-peer videos will be a very effective way to reach children and the public at large. Once they create these videos, we’ll put the best on TV,” Conant said. “Safety and education is equally important to creating the bike route.”

Jodi Walborn, Safe Routes to School coordinator and Bike Ped member, said it’s important to get kids to inform other kids on safe habits.

“We as teachers can educate until we’re blue in the face, but kids are more willing to listen to other kids,” Walborn said. “They have a creativity and a way of reaching out that adults don’t have.”

Students, through their media and audio-visual teachers from all Lee County public, charter, private and parochial schools, can make a positive impact by creating 10-, 15- or 30-second videos, with the winner’s videos to be shown on TV ads, the city’s websites, school media outlets, bike/ped blogs and more.

As part of the city’s bicycle and pedestrian safety initiative, Cape Coral Bike Ped volunteers and the city are asking for help to increase the number of students who ride their bicycle and walk to school safely.

Conant said the ads can be about anything as long as they follow Florida law. Among the popular subjects will be about wearing a helmet and riding and walking on the right side of the road.

“So many young people don’t want to wear a helmet because they don’t want to mess up their hair. If you get into a crash, your chances of having brain damage or dying are higher if you don’t wear one,” Conant said.

The winning video will bring that school $1,000 to purchase media equipment or for bicycle and pedestrian initiatives from the city of Cape Coral.

Winners will be chosen based on originality, creativity, and how well the students use their artistic vision to portray the theme and how successfully the bicycle and pedestrian safety concept is conveyed.

A project submission is either one 30-second video, up to two 15-second videos or up to three 10-second videos.

Submissions will be accepted from Sept. 5 through Nov. 18.

To learn more, check out the BikeWalkSafely2Live PSA Contest Rules, entry forms and parental release forms at www.CapeCoral.net/Bicycling and click on the BikeWalksSafely2Live PSA Contest big blue button.

For more information, contact Conant at 851-9737 or Jodi Walborn, Safe Routes to School coordinator and Bike Ped member, at 738-3155.