BOSTON (May 24, 2023) – As thousands of young drivers take to the roads for proms and graduation celebrations across Massachusetts this month, Northbridge High School students have been chosen to deliver an important message with their post-Apocalyptic themed public service announcement. Northbridge High’s “Zombie” script was chosen from dozens of entries in the Look Both Ways Road Safety PSA Contest, sponsored by Fundación MAPFRE and Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT). The goal of the contest was to give high school students a voice in reaching fellow young drivers with life-saving reminders.
The PSA will air statewide and can be found here.
More than 15 percent of crashes across the state in 2023 were young driver related, including a number resulting in fatalities and more than 1,500 resulting in injury, according to MassDOT. In Northbridge alone, more than ⅓ of car crashes in 2023 were reported as young driver related.
MassDOT Secretary and CEO Gina Fiandaca and Chief Representative of Fundación MAPFRE in the United States and Chief Executive Officer of MAPFRE USA Jaime Tamayo visited Northbridge High School on Wednesday, May 24, to recognize the students’ accomplishments.
“We are lucky to have young road safety advocates and creative minds interested in keeping their communities safe,” said MAPFRE CEO Jaime Tamayo. “There is no better way to reach teen drivers than through their peers, and we are incredibly proud of the work Northbridge High School brought to the table. We look forward to seeing the PSA broadcast across the state.”
“MassDOT is pleased to collaborate with Fundación MAPFRE to engage our youth to increase awareness regarding road safety. Peer to peer education is highly effective,” said Transportation Secretary and CEO Gina Fiandaca. “We are excited to engage young people to get the word out that crashes are preventable, especially at such a critical time like prom and graduation season. It is crucial for all drivers to look both ways, do not drive distracted, and obey the rules of the road.”
Under the guidance of broadcast teacher Kevin Newton, Northbridge High students Payton Brooks, Brenna Duda and Caramia Pozzi won the contest with their creative approach. Boston creative communications agency CTP worked with the students to produce the spot on location at NHS.
Other finalists include: Agawam High School, Dighton-Rehoboth, Gloucester High School, Minuteman High School (Lexington), Plymouth North High School, and Westfield High School.
Look Both Ways aims to eliminate road-related fatalities and serious injury, connecting high schools and colleges with the program’s “React Challenge.” The mobile interactive virtual reality station tests students’ safe driving ability when faced with distractions behind the wheel.
About Fundación MAPFRE’s Road Safety Initiative: Fundación MAPFRE, a non-profit based in Madrid, Spain, and with North American headquarters in Webster, Massachusetts, aims to promote the well-being of society and citizens. Prevention and Road Safety is an action area to which the foundation is dedicated. It models its programs to align with the Vision Zero movement, which seeks to eliminate traffic fatalities and severe injuries among all road users.