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Children Promote "Be Ready. Be Buckled." Safety Belt Message Through Art

DOT Announces 2013 Student Art Contest Winners

WASHINGTON - U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood today congratulated two elementary school students - a second grader from Maryland and a third grader from Missouri - as this year’s winners of the "Be Ready. Be Buckled." Safety Belt Student Art Contest sponsored by the Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Belt Partnership. Joining Secretary LaHood at an awards ceremony held at the U.S. Department of Transportation’s headquarters were National Highway Traffic Safety Administrator David Strickland and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Deputy Administrator Bill Bronrott.

"Buckling up is one of the easiest and most efficient ways to be safe on our highways," said Secretary LaHood. "The student art contest helps deliver that message to both our children who design the posters, and the truck and bus drivers who will see them throughout the year."

Second grader Caleb Zhao from Gaithersburg, Md., and third grader Reilly Taylor from Independence, Mo., won top honors for their illustrations that demonstrate the need for commercial truck and bus drivers to buckle up every time they get behind the wheel. The two winners were joined by 10 other talented students who were also recognized for their participation in the contest. Together, these 12 entries will be included in the 2014 "Be Ready. Be Buckled." Art Contest calendar available in the fall.

The "Be Ready. Be Buckled." student art contest is organized by the Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Belt Partnership, which includes FMCSA, NHTSA and 30 other government agencies and private organizations. Open to students in kindergarten through sixth grade with relatives in the commercial truck and bus industries, the contest educates children about highway safety and urges commercial drivers to buckle up on every trip.

The two contest winners received framed replicas of their artwork plus a monetary award courtesy of the Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Belt Partnership.

To learn more about the "Be Ready, Be Buckled" contest, visit

The grand prize winner in the kindergarten to second grade category is Caleb Zhao, a second grader from Gaithersburg, MDThe grand prize winner for the grade 3 to grade 6 category is Reilly Taylor, a third grader from Independence, MI

The following is a list of the 12 students whose artwork will be featured in the 2014 "Be Ready. Be Buckled." Art Contest calendar:

First Last Age Grade City State
Mykenzey Granillo 9 4 Des Moines IA
Sara Toto 8 1 Methven MA
Caleb Zhao 8 2 Gaithersburg MD
Brady Pugh 6 1 St. Joseph MO
Reilly Taylor 8 3 Independence MO
Jennifer Tian 7 1 Highland Park NJ
Keya Raval 8 3 Edison NJ
Michelle Huang 10 4 Edison NJ
Jacqueline Metz 12 6 Hillsdale NJ
Kylie Woods 8 3 Marysville OH
Jaques LeCoq 5 K Alexandria VA
Kyleigh Jones 10 4 Midlothian VA
Updated: Thursday, March 20, 2014