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Van Nuys Middle School Wins LAPD-Auto Club Mural Contest

2010 LAPD Safety Mural
Winners of the Auto Club/LAPD 2010 Traffic Safety Mural Contest
A local school's outdoor wall mural featuring animals as unsafe car drivers committing a variety of risky behaviors that could cause injuries is the winner of the 2010 LAPD and Auto Club Traffic Safety Mural Competition.
“The mural theme, ‘Traffic Laws Apply to Everyone,’  is instructive, charming and immediately conveys the dangers of unsafe driving,” said Rick Lalor, manager of the Automobile Club of Southern California’s Motor Sports and Special Events Programs. “The creativity exhibited by the students will generate lots of attention from their classmates and teachers, while reinforcing in a fun way the very serious traffic safety messages illustrated in the mural.”
Art students at Vista Middle School in Van Nuys will be honored with first place and their school will receive $1,000 for raising traffic safety awareness among pre-teens in the annual mural competition. Their instructor is Thomas Wu.  Principal Nidia Castro said 27 students created the mural using supplies donated by Dunn-Edwards.  Kaitlynn Redell of Otis School of Art and Design served as art judge for the murals.
“The Vista Middle School students captured the risks for those who drive without regard to other motorists and the danger they pose to others, including pedestrians,” said LAPD Officer Joseph Taylor.  “The mural conveys how motorists can become careless in their driving and serves as a testimony to their fellow students to develop good driving skills.”
LAPD West Traffic Division Officers and the Auto Club will present a check, plaque and certificates to the winning students at 11:30 a.m. Thursday, May 27, at Vista Middle School, 15040 Roscoe Blvd.    
The competition, open to Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) middle schools, required art students to design and paint a wall-size outdoor mural depicting traffic safety awareness affecting their classmates and school neighborhood.  This is the 12th year of the competition.
The $500 second place winner was Bancroft Middle School for its “Don’t Text and Drive” mural and third place with $300 went to Bret Harte Middle School for its “Respect” (the Red, Yellow, and Green) mural. 
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The Automobile Club of Southern California is a member club affiliated with the American Automobile Association (AAA) national federation and serves members in the following California counties: Inyo, Imperial, Kern, Los Angeles, Mono, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Tulare, and Ventura.