BRADFORD — Travelers along U.S. 36 will notice a new billboard just west of Buckneck Road, beginning Nov. 6.
What makes this billboard noteworthy is that it’s the creation of Bradford High School sophomore Alexis Barhorst.
Barhorst, 16, recently was presented with a $500 check for her efforts in the Teen Driver Billboard Contest, sponsored by the Miami County Safe Communities Coalition and State Farm Insurance.
This is the third year a Bradford student has won the contest, said Vicky Knisley-Henry, Health Educator & Safe Communities Coordinator with Miami County Public Health.
Barhorst’s message to drivers: “Get your head out of your apps and drive safely.”
“You see a lot of people driving, always on their phones,” Barhorst said. “I want to get them off their phones so they don’t have an accident.”
According to Knisley-Henry, teens participating in the safe driving billboard contest were on their own as far as what they chose as their message, but most of the 25 entries selected something to do with cell phone usage while behind the wheel of a vehicle.
“They chose what’s important to them and they know their biggest issue is the cell phone,” she said, as opposed to topics such as drinking and driving.
Barhorst, who was scheduled to get her driver’s license this past weekend, said she was “shocked” upon learning her billboard message had been chosen as the winner of this year’s contest. She plans on putting her winnings toward her future education — which right now is to go into nursing.
For producing the winning billboard, Bradford’s sixth- through 12th-graders also enjoyed a pizza lunch on Friday before participating in several interactive stations to promote safe driving, which were set up in the school’s gym by the Miami County Safe Communities Coalition.
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