Commodore Perry students with their plow. Photo courtesy PennDOT.

Commodore Perry Sweeps 2024 Paint the Plow Awards in PennDOT District 1

January 22, 2024

OIL CITY, Pa. – Commodore Perry in Mercer County won both the Fan Favorite and Judge’s Pick awards in the 2024 Paint the Plow contest, PennDOT announced Monday.

The plow depicts two people riding in a vehicle with their wearing their seat belts and a deer standing nearby. The background of the artwork features foliage from spring, winter, fall, and summer to convey this year’s theme – “Seat belts are always in season.”

The public was invited to vote for their favorite plow from 10 area high schools that entered in this year’s regional contest. Votes were accepted from Jan. 8 to 15, 2024. Commodore Perry High School received 886 votes to win the 2023-24 “Fan Favorite” honor.

Commodore Perry also won the Judge’s Pick. West Middlesex High School of Mercer County was the honorable mention in the Judge’s Pick category, which was determined through judging by PennDOT representatives.

The 10 painted plow blades will be used by PennDOT throughout the winter to maintain state-owned roadways.

More than 80 schools participated in the 2024 Paint the Plow contest across the state. Nearly 29,000 votes were cast for the Fan Favorite awards, and photos of all the plows can be seen on PennDOT’s Paint the Plow website.

Paint the Plow is a statewide outreach aimed at promoting winter driving safety and fostering appreciation for high school art programs and student creativity. Students are invited to paint a plow blade with an original design based on a provided theme.

The Paint the Plow award announcement served as an unofficial kickoff to Winter Driving Awareness Week, which runs through Jan. 27. Winter Driving Awareness Week is a reminder to motorists to practice safe habits behind the wheel, especially during inclement weather. PennDOT advises drivers to stay in during snow events unless it’s necessary to be out. If traveling is necessary, practice the following winter driving tips:

  • Use low beams in snowy weather;
  • Keep the gas tank at least half full;
  • Reduce your speed;
  • Remove accumulated ice or snow from your vehicle, including the hood, trunk, and roof;
  • Increase the following distance from the vehicle in front of you; and
  • Use extra caution on bridges and ramps, where ice can form without warning.

“Additionally, when encountering a plow truck on the road, give it plenty of space, staying at least six car lengths behind,” PennDOT said in the announcement. “There may be blind spots where it is difficult for the plow operator to see the smaller vehicle. Never try to pass or get between several trucks plowing side by side in a “plow train,” and keep your lights on to help the operator better see your vehicle.”

More information on PennDOT’s winter preparations and additional winter-driving resources for motorists can be found here.


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