Pupils develop road safety billboards



Works of art by Clutha district pupils will soon grace billboards on the district’s state highways.

Five artworks by students have been selected by the Clutha District Council road safety team and the Balclutha police to be mounted on billboards around the district to highlight an awareness of road safety issues.

The secondary schools were asked to present ideas based on specific size and content requirements.

Council road safety co-ordinator Rachel Harrison said pupils from three high schools took part and there were 12 entries submitted in the road safety billboard competition.

“The students had to work to specific sets of requirements which included specific fonts, size and content,” Mrs Harrison said.

“The themes they could choose to cover in their final design were restraints, impairments, distractions and speeds.”

The goal was to produce something the district could be proud of and the schools would get road safety education at the same time, she said.

Over the next few months the winning entries from the three schools would be printed up to 2.5m by 1.8m in size and mounted at specific locations in their areas.

The Catlins Area School had two winners who received gift bags from sponsors.

Their winning billboard designs will be on show on the state highways around Clinton and Owaka.

Mrs Harrison said between January 1, 2019, and November 14, 2019, there were 949 driving complaints and more than 200 crashes in the Clutha district.

“On State Highway 1 between Balclutha and Clinton there is anywhere between 2000 to 4000 cars per day and the Owaka Highway has approximately 450 per day, so their billboards will be seen by thousands.”

The Catlins Area School science teacher Lisa Hooker said the pupils had worked in groups of two every afternoon for the past few weeks to conceptualise, plan and then produce their designs.

“They even had to get permission to bring a cellphone to school to take the photo in the car, as we are a cellphone-free zone,” she said.

A member of one of the school’s winning teams, Dannielle Mason (14) said she looked online for inspiration, then looked at what logos worked and what imagery was effective.

“The restrictions on the design made it difficult but our final result was pretty awesome,” Mason said.