OIL CITY, Pa. (WKBN) — The northwest region of the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation recently announced the District 1 winners of the Paint the Plow safety outreach contest. 

Farrell High School in Mercer County won the “Fan Favorite” award, which was determined by online voting through PennDOT’s website. The plow depicts melting ice falling onto a cell phone containing a general prohibition symbol on the screen to convey this year’s theme — “Put Down the Device in Snow and Ice.”

West Middlesex High School was the honorable mention.

Students were invited to paint a plow blade with an original design based on a provided theme. This year’s theme is “Put Down the Device in Snow and Ice,” which was chosen to draw attention to the need for drivers to give driving their full attention and eliminate distractions, like cell phones, especially during winter weather events.  

Members of the public were invited to vote for their favorite plow from 11 area high schools that entered this year’s regional contest. Votes were accepted from Nov. 14-20. Farrell High School received 505 of the 2,671 total votes to earn the title of “Fan Favorite.”  

The winner of the “Judges’ Pick” award was Mercer High School, also in Mercer County. The student mural shows a cracked cell phone surrounded by app logos and text messages amid lettering that reads “Put Down the Device in Snow and Ice.”

Farrell High School also earned an honorable mention in the “Judges’ Pick” category, which was determined through judging by PennDOT representatives.  

During the winter weather season, the winning blades, as well as those painted by other participating schools, will be used to maintain state-owned roadways across the six counties in PennDOT’s northwest region. Photos of all the District 1 plows can be viewed on the PennDOT website.

Other event participants included:

  • Commodore Perry High School
  • Eisenhower Middle-High School
  • Oil City High School, Rocky Grove High School
  • Sheffield Area Middle School
  • Warren High School
  • Youngsville High School

Paint the Plow is a collaborative effort between PennDOT and area high schools aimed at promoting winter driving safety and fostering appreciation for student art programs and creativity.

Mercer High School was the the winner of the "Judge's Pick"
Mercer High School’s plow design (Courtesy: PennDOT)