Announcing 2022 Highway Safety Poster Contest Winners

Each year, Caltrans holds its annual Highway Safety poster contest. The contest is open to children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews 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. 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.

Although the posters differ greatly in appearance, they all convey one of these important messages, "Be Work Zone Alert" or "Move Over."

Winner 14 - 17 year olds

Naomi Melak 14, is a 9th grader at Castro Valley High, whose interests include reading, writing, and playing soccer and volleyball. A fan of horror stories and seeing movies with her friends, Naomi also enjoys decorating and "doing a little bit of art and drawing on the side." Because she is a niece of Caltrans District 4 Transportation Engineer Gesse Melaku, Naomi takes Safety seriously, saying, "Innocent road workers get injured every day doing their jobs because of reckless drivers preoccupied with other tasks while driving. We should all be more vigilant and conscious while driving and take road safety seriously to ensure safer roads for our fellow workers and the traveling public."

Poster creator winner 14 to 17 years old - Naomi Malek

Poster creator winner 14 to 17 years old - Naomi Melak

Winner 11 - 13 year olds

Orlando Juarez is a straight-A, 7th grade student at Nobel Middle School. Qualifying for the Principal's Honor Roll - which he has done for the past two years - is important to the thirteen-year-old, and he also wants to learn to speak more Spanish so he can "better communicate with friends and family." Away from school, Orlando enjoys playing basketball, riding his bike and exercising. He says he entered the Safety Poster contest because "people need to be aware of those working on the freeways who are making sure the roads are safe and clean." Speaking of his father, Oscar Juarez, a Caltrans District 7 Maintenance Supervisor, Orlando says, "I want my dad to come home and have him by my side for a long time because he is my role model and inspires me every day."

Poster creator winner 11 to 13 Years Old - Orlando Juarez

Poster creator winner 11 to 13 Years Old - Orlando Juarez

Winner 7 - 10 year olds

When he's not studying with his 5th grade classmates at Vineyard Elementary school, ten-year-old Henry Hyde likes to read, especially comics. This interest also inspired him to create Cast Off, an original comic. Henry enjoys playing with Legos, Hot Wheels, and Apple Arcade games and also lists the healthy pastime of "sleeping" as one of his hobbies. Henry says that he entered the Safety Poster contest because his father, Jake Hyde, an AGPA/Signal and Lighting Coordinator with District 5, "sometimes goes out to check on meters, and I don't want him or any other workers to get hurt."

Poster creator winners 7 to 10 Years Old - Henry Hyde

Poster creator winners 7 to 10 Years Old - Henry Hyde Art

Winner 6 years old and younger

Luke Leynes is a six-year-old Kindergarten student at the St. John Batiste de la Salle school. He loves to learn and is keenly interested in Science, particularly anything to do with outer space and anatomy. When he's not at school, you'll likely find Luke playing with some of his many toys, especially Battlebots, which are his favorites. Luke's grandfather Jerry Montoya, Deputy Chief Counsel in the Legal Division in District 7, was delighted when Luke showed him that he can correctly identify 250 of the world's 280 flags … and counting! Luke says he entered the Caltrans Highway Safety Poster contest because he wants everyone to "be Safe on the Roadways."

Winner 6 Years Old and Younger - Luke Leynes

Poster creator winner 6 years old and younger - Luke Leynes Art