Young artist earns national recognition for safety message

If your mother works as a grants officer for ITD’s Office of Highway Safety, then expect safety messages as a part of everyday life.

“Mom always put me in a seat belt and booster, and I’m glad – really glad she did,” said Hannah Goertz, daughter of ITD’s Margaret Goertz.

When a “Be Ready, Be Buckled” national poster contest urging commercial drivers to use their safety belts was announced this year, Goertz answered the call for entries and didn’t give it a second thought until a package arrived by mail.

It contained a handsomely framed certificate acknowledging the 12-year-old’s “excellence in creativity and outstanding artistic abilities,” signed by U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood, Anne S. Ferro, Federal Motor Vehicle Carrier Safety Administrator, and David L. Strickland, National Highway Traffic Safety Administrator.

The poster contest is sponsored by the Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Belt Partnership, which includes FMCSA and more than 20 other government agencies and organizations.

The young artist’s picture and safety message were put on display this spring with other winning entries at the U.S. DOT Headquarters in Washington, D.C. Her effort also may have earned a spot in an upcoming 2012 FMCSA planning calendar featuring 2011 contest winners and top entries.

“I like art. It calms me,” Goertz said, adding that she began making pictures of cars, clothes and mansions in pre-school.

Her goal is to one day apply her art skills to fashion design.

“I know it’s hard to get into the fashion world,” she said. “But, I want people to see what I can do in my drawings.”

Published 7-15-2011