Students ‘paint the plow' to encourage safe winter driving

COALVILLE, Utah (ABC4 Utah) - High school students at North Summit High are adding a splash of color to our winter commute. The Utah Department of Transportation has got behind the wheel of a pilot program called "Paint the Plow."

Students are allowed to paint a snowplow blade that will be used in their community throughout the winter months. 

"It's important they understand a few seconds can save a life," Hannah Wilde, the art teacher at North Summit High School, said.

Wilde is happy with the way the mural is turning out, and says she is proud of the interaction between the ninth and 12th graders as they work on the project. Students created their own design, and picked elements from each picture to include on the plow.

"It's great for them to collaborate on their different ideas. We have non drivers and we have drivers. And the drivers can share their mistakes and good advice witht the kids that are learning drive," Hannah Wilde, the art teacher at North Summit High School, said. 

Students researched winter driving statistics before they constructed their diagrams. Tessa Richins just received her learning premit and says the overall mural paints a picture of responsibility behind the wheel.

"Road safety is important because it can save lives," Tessa Richins said. 

Another student, Augustine Ojeda, thought it was important and necessary to include a road sign that says you should drive slow in the snow.

"There's been a lot of crashes in the snow, there are some people that can drive fast and it's not really safe, so it can help them out," Ojeda said.

Last year, UDOT has 60 incidents involving snow plows. Car crashes are the deadliest part of snow and ice storms, and promoting safety among our newly licensed drivers is one of the reasons UDOT got behind this pilot program. 

"It's a new experience for them out there. Learning driving techniques and hopefully through this it will get them thinking and practicing safer driving habits" Todd Richins, the UDOT Maintenance Area Supervisor, said of the project.  

Students at North Summit will see their work put to work when the plows are put into rotation. Skyview High School and Northridge High School, both in Northern Utah, also participated in the "Paint the Plow" program.


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