SAN RAMON -- A man who knows a lot about transportation safety -- Capt. Chesley Sullenberger, of Danville -- kicked off this year's high school Street Smarts traffic safety campaign at Dougherty Valley High on Monday.

The "Hero of the Hudson" pilot, who safely landed a crippled US Airways jetliner into the Hudson River in January 2009, introduced students to this year's program.

The campaign, now in its seventh year, rotates the high school portion to different San Ramon Valley school district sites each year. This year it is open to students at Dougherty Valley High in San Ramon, while last year it was at Monte Vista High in Danville.

The "It Happens" portion for high school students encourages them to submit real-life experiences as a car passenger or driver to the website www.ithappens2u.com. Six stories will be picked for filming, with students from the school voting on their favorite, Visitors to the site get points for participating in different activities, which they can redeem for prizes such as concert tickets, video games and gift cards.

The campaign also includes the "Be Reel!" video contest where middle school students submit 60-second videos on traffic safety themes. The is also a storybook poster contest for elementary students, which has students drawing illustrations for a book written by local author Dana Mentink.


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Street Smarts is a partnership involving local municipal governments, the county, the school district, and the San Ramon Valley Council of PTAs.

Eric Louie covers San Ramon Valley education. Contact him at 925-847-2123.