California Department of Transportation

2013 Highway Safety Poster Contest Winners

Each year, Caltrans holds its annual Highway Safety poster contest. The contest is open to children and grandchildren of Caltrans employees, and it gives the children an opportunity to express their messages about the importance of driving safely in or near highway work zones, where their loved ones work in danger. It also allows them to be part of Caltrans' educational outreach and life-saving message.

The contest was open to children 17 years old or younger, and judges selected posters based on creativity, how well the poster conveyed the highway safety theme, and the use of color.

The winning posters appeared in the Annual Workers Memorial program and were on display at the ceremony.

Although the posters differ greatly in appearance, they all convey one of these important messages, "Slow for the Cone Zone" or "Move Over"

8 years old and under
Kabilan Vaikunthan

Kabilan Vaikunthan is 6 ½ years old and a student at Elliott Elementary School. His father, Civil Transportation Engineer Vaikunthan Renganathan, works in the Division if Engineering Services. Going to the park and riding his bike are his favorite activities. He’s learning karate and likes playing chess and building with Lego® bricks. Kabilan wants to be a surgeon or astronaut. He wants to tell people, “no texting in your cars and don’t be crazy with your steering wheel and crash. Don’t look at anything, except out your front window. Be safe, and slow for the cone zone.”

7–9 years old
Khushi A. Khant

Khushi A. Khant is the 9-year-old daughter of Senior Transportation Engineer-Electrical Specialist Anupkumar C. Khant in the Division of Project Management. Khushi is interested in arts and crafts and often spends her spare time reading. She also enjoys playing with her younger brother, solving math problems and building with Lego® Technic. Khushi is her class representative, as well as the representative for the 2nd grade class, at the Thomas Jefferson Elementary Student Council. She hopes to one day be a Caltrans engineer. She believes, “highway workers who are working hard to build our freeways and bridges should be protected, so they can reach home safely to be with their families. Therefore, every driver should drive slowly in the cone zone.”

12–14 years old
Cristian Sweeden

Cristian Sweeden is a 13-year-old 7th grade student at Ben Holt College Preparatory Academy. His grandfather, Russ Sweeden, is a District 4 Toll Services Manager. Cristian and his two sisters were adopted from Bogota, Columbia, six years ago. His favorite activities are playing video games with his brother, reading, riding bikes, and building with Lego® bricks. He believes people should pay attention to highway safety signs because they are out there to keep people safe.

15–17 years old
Selby Boerman

Selby Boerman is 15 years old and homeschooled. Her father is District 2 Caltrans Equipment Operator II Stephen Boerman. Selby enjoys working with cows on the ranch, riding quads, and playing the piano. Selby’s message to drivers is, “Slow down. A fast driver will not get to his destination much sooner than a safe, slower driver, but may cause more collisions. It’s easy to lose control of your car when driving at high speeds. Losing control of your car can result in lost lives, especially in work zones, where workers are present. Don’t put the people who are keeping our roads maintained and safe in danger by speeding through cone zones.”