HARRISBURG — The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) and the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) invite high school students in grades 9-12 to participate in the second PennDOT Innovations Challenge, which encourages students to use their problem-solving, creative and strategic-thinking abilities to solve real-world transportation challenges.
This year’s Innovations Challenge asks students to look at cost-effective technologies and 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.
Despite increased enforcement efforts, work zone signage placed miles in advance and smartphone alerts, drivers continue to commit traffic violations in work zones, which sometimes lead to crashes and other dangerous, life-threatening situations, or tragically, someone being killed. There were more than 1,700 work zone-related crashes and 19 fatalities in Pennsylvania last year.
The Innovations Challenge aims to not only help students explore real transportation challenges that PennDOT is facing, but also open their minds to the possibility of working for PennDOT after graduation.
Through the PennDOT Innovations Challenge, regional winners will be selected and invited to compete in Harrisburg 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.
For complete Innovations Challenge details, visit www.penndot.gov/innovation. The deadline for submissions is Dec. 31.