MassDOT High School Video Contest

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BOSTON, Mass. — The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) announced the seventh annual Safe Streets Smart Trips High School Video Contest.
 
The contest serves as an initiative within the Massachusetts Strategic Highway Safety Plan to promote safe walking, bicycling, and driving behaviors within the Commonwealth. The contest, which began in 2014, encourages high school students to showcase their understanding of roadway safety across all travel modes to try to decrease pedestrian and bicyclist injuries and fatalities.
 
"We are pleased to provide high school students with the opportunity to participate in this valuable exercise to underscore the need to limit all distractions when driving and especially to put phones and mobile devices away," MassDOT Secretary and CEO Stephanie Pollack said. "Every year we have been impressed by some of the powerful educational videos produced by students and I am confident that this year, even as some students learn remotely, they will collaborate and submit entries which will underscore that driving hands-free is really a life or death issue."
 
 The video contest, which is open to all Massachusetts high school students, features a freshman/sophomore category and junior/senior category. Per contest guidelines, students are asked to write and produce a 30-60 second video that focuses on one or several of the guidelines of the "Hands-Free" law.
 
Complete contest guidelines were sent to high schools on September 23, 2020 and are also found at Mass.gov/roadway-safety-video.
 
The contest begins Sept. 28 and applications must be submitted by 5 pm on Nov. 4.
 
Students are required to strictly follow COVID-19 social distancing guidelines and health/safety precautions while making contest videos. Grand prize and runner-up videos in each category will be chosen by a MassDOT panel. The winning videos will be screened during MassDOT’s annual active transportation conference, Moving Together, which is scheduled to take place virtually on Nov. 17, 18 and 19. Top videos may also be used in future safety campaigns.
 
On Feb. 23, 2020, the "Hands-Free" law was enacted throughout the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. This law seeks to help reduce the number of motor vehicle crashes involving distracted driving as a result of electronic device usage. Operators of motor vehicles are prohibited from using any electronic devices, including mobile telephones, unless the devices are set to hands-free mode. Drivers under 18 are not allowed to use any electronic devices and all phone use while driving is illegal, including use in hands-free mode.
 
 
 
 

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State Hosts Hearing on Health Care Cost Trends From COVID-19

BOSTON — The Massachusetts Health Policy Commission (HPC) will host the 2020 Annual Health Care Cost Trends Hearing on Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2020.

The hearing, a public event at which policymakers and health care stakeholders convene to discuss challenges and oppor­tunities in improving health care in the Commonwealth, will be available live on the HPC’s YouTube channel. The virtual event will focus on examining the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the health care system and residents of the Commonwealth and discussing considerations for the future. More information on the hearing, including a registration link, program booklet, and full agenda, can be found here.

The hearing will feature pre-recorded remarks from Governor Charlie Baker and Attorney General Maura Healey, which will be posted on the HPC’s website after the hearing.
 
Dr. David R. Williams, a social scientist focused on social influences of health, will be the keynote speaker. He is the Florence Sprague Norman and Laura Smart Norman Professor of Public Health, Chair of the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and a Professor of African and African American Studies and Sociology at Harvard University.
 
The hearing will feature a video presentation highlighting the voices of those throughout the Commonwealth who have been most impacted by the pandemic. The video will be posted on the HPC’s website after the hearing. 
 
The hearing will include two hour-long panels featuring health care leaders and clinicians with a range of perspectives and experiences on the impact of COVD-19.
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