Students’ posters seek to curb distracted walking, cycling

EDISON — Middlesex County College students Joseph Reyes of Edison and Kevin Vazquez of Fords took first and second place, respectively, in a contest sponsored by Middlesex County to develop marketing materials to deter young people from distracted walking and cycling.

“The significant rise in pedestrian accidents caused by walking and texting is a major concern, and we hope that this awareness campaign will help change habits that place walkers at risk,” said Middlesex County Freeholder H. James Polos, chairman of the Department of Public Safety and Health.

The Middlesex County Comprehensive Traffic Safety Program was created to expand the county’s ongoing traffic- and pedestrian-safety initiatives.

In an effort to combat distracted walking and texting, the county sponsored a contest for students at Middlesex County College and Rutgers University to create a radio public service announcement or a poster explaining the dangers of distracted walking and cycling. The county will use the winning entries in a marketing campaign.

In the poster division, Reyes won $500, Vazquez received $300, and Rutgers University student Rajwaun McKenzie was given a $200 prize.

In the audio public service announcement, Anthony Timbol won $500 for first place, and Joseph Mastromarino won $300 for second place. Both are students at Middlesex County College.