SAFETY ART CAN SAVE LIVES
Counting the Days for the Arrival of the 2008 Slow for the Cone Zone Safety Calendar
Throughout the ages, great empires, people and religions have influenced various calendars based on the sun and moon, festivals, mathematics, astronomy and astrology. But only one calendar is founded upon Cone Zone safety and that is the Caltrans “Slow for the Cone Zone Safety Calendar.”
Each October, Caltrans holds a statewide calendar contest for the children, grandchildren and young relatives of all its employees to submit artwork depicting Cone Zone safety. Twelve artists will represent each district in the “2008 Slow for the Cone Zone Safety Calendar.” One drawing is selected for the calendar cover.
“Children are important messengers when introduced to safe driving practices early in life. My grandchildren remind me all the time to fasten my seat belt and don’t talk on the cell phone while driving. Hopefully, this instills a life-long awareness of work zone hazards and fosters future safe driving behavior,” according to Marcia Graves, District 7 contest coordinator.
Through the medium of art, the children of Caltrans employees were asked to share perceptions about work zone safety and submit entries for the calendar contest. Their thoughts about the “Slow for the Cone Zone” message are conveyed through the creativity of their drawings.
The District Public Affairs Office coordinates submittals and a panel selects one drawing. The artwork is chosen for its creative expression of encouraging motorists to slow down and save lives in highway work zones. District 7 received 13 original submissions for the contest.
“Caltrans spreads the safety message throughout the year in various ways at many events. Educating children about highway safety, litter and graffiti removal exposes them to the important and sometimes dangerous work of Caltrans. This calendar contest involves the kids and they take from it a deeper understanding of how important it is to share the safety message,” said Dave White, District 7, Public Affairs manager.
This year, artwork by Kylee Moreles, age 11, was selected to represent District 7 for the 2008 calendar. Kylee is the daughter of Yanzenko (Yan) Moreles, Transportation Engineering Technician in the Ventura Regional Survey Office, part of the Design Division. Kylee is a 5th grade student at the Santa Susana Elementary School in Ventura County.
According to her father, Kylee worked day and night on her artwork as she recently is learning the airbrush method of painting. He said that Kylee’s sole purpose of participating in the contest was to make sure that everyone takes the issue of roadway safety as seriously as she does.
“By creating this artwork, Kylee learned about my work and she asked about the dangers I faced on the job,” said Moreles.
Yan Moreles spends a lot of time roadside taking calculations. In past years, working in Caltrans Landscaping and Maintenance divisions, Moreles suffered an injury caused by an unsafe motorist. Because of that, Kylee chose her artwork to relay the message of “Don’t Drink and Drive.”
When she is not hanging out with family, including two brothers, ages 18 and 4, Kylee enjoys listening to music and singing karaoke, especially when she hosts friends at pajama parties. Her favorite artist is Miley Cyrus, aka: Hanna Montana.
District 7 will showcase all 13 entries and share them with the public via the exterior glass display case of the District 7 Office Building at the corner of Los Angeles Street and 1st Street. All are available to view by clicking on the Inside 7 Photo Gallery and the 2008 Cone Zone Safety Calendar.
District 7 thanks all participants of this year’s contest and to the employees who encouraged their children to participate. They are: Colin Dinsmore, 8, son of John Dinsmore, Supervisor, Maintenance Claims; Ijya Karki, 12, daughter of Rakesh Karki, Transportation Engineer; Janine Lutfi, 7, daughter of Monica Robledo, Senior Transportation Engineer, Local Assistance and Alameda Corridors; Karen Palaha, 11, daughter of Nina Palaha, Environmental Planner; Joseph Canalita, 7, son of James Canalita, Transportation Engineer, Traffic Design; Kassandra Canalita, 9, daughter of James Canalita, Transportation Engineer, Traffic Design; Reion Richard Domingo, 9, son of Wilfred Domingo, Transportation Engineer-Design; Rukti Islam, 9, daughter of Mohammed S. Islam, Transportation Engineer Technician, Geotechnical Services; Marlena Silva, 10, daughter of Shawn Silva, Maintenance Supervisor, West Sign Crew; Justin Arias, 10, (District 7 winner in 2005!), son of Bob Arias, Maintenance Manager, Special Crews; Isabel Cambiaso, 6, granddaughter of Vicky Ignacio, Manager, Program Project Manager; Jasmeet Palaha, 8, son of Nina Palaha, Environmental Planner.