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See No Traffic, Hear No Traffic
Thursday 13th November, 2008

See No Traffic, Hear No Traffic
Mark Tilley, assistant director for Highway Services is seen here with a pupil from the Deanery High School and the red, amber and green men.

With nearly 62% of teenagers admitting that they are distracted by using their mobile phones when crossing the road, and almost 1 in 5 teenagers reporting having been involved in a road accident or ‘near miss’ on their way home from school, Wigan Council’s Local Transport Plan Delivery Team has launched a competition to raise awareness of this growing problem.

Mark Tilley, assistant director for Highway Services said: “Most teenagers do look before they cross the road but many do not look properly and are easily distracted.

“Of course we recognise that technology which gives us texting, mobile phoning and portable music players such as Ipods is now part of youth culture, but teenagers do need to be responsible for the choices that they make when it comes to pedestrian road safety. And that includes using technology at the right time as getting it wrong can not only impact on their life but on the lives of others.

“Teenagers clearly have a lot on their minds especially as they walk home from school and college, but at the end of the day it has to be their choice to just stop for a moment and look and listen.

“This is why we have launched a competition with the theme of ‘See No Traffic, Hear No Traffic’. A young person can choose to read or make a text or restrict their hearing with headphones when crossing the road. But this choice could change their life or end it.

“We are asking young people between the ages of 13 and 18 to create an advertising message that considers this question of choice when crossing the road. There is a winning prize of £1000 for the best advertising poster, ring tone, radio commercial or TV commercial that highlights the dangers of being distracted when crossing the road. Four runners up will each receive £200.

“Whether working in a group or individually, we are hoping that teenagers can use their technological skills to get the message across responsibly and help to raise awareness of crossing the road safely. We will also be involving schools and colleges to help guide applicants with their submissions.

“We are also delighted that Wish FM has got behind this initiative. The radio station will be instrumental in getting the message across and entries will be uploaded on its web site and played on air. The campaign will also be rolled out on all local buses and a dedicated website will go live at the end of November where people can get more information and download an application form.

“This competition highlights the importance we are placing on this issue and we will be very interested in looking at this problem through the eyes of the young people who are right at the heart of it.”

The winners will be chosen at an event which will take place at the end of February 2009. Further details and an application form can be found on www.you2choose.info which will go live at the end of November 2008.

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