Teens Invited to Create Distracted Driving PSA's
Apr 18, 2012 - 12:07:05 PM
National Road Safety Foundation and National Student Safety Program offer
$1,000 prize for best youth-generated ideas for Distracted Driving radio PSA
(HealthNewsDigest.com) - NEW YORK, April 18, 2012 -- Traffic crashes are the number one cause of death among U.S. teens, with 5,000 young people killed annually and thousands more injured. U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood has called distracted driving a national epidemic, and he has made promoting awareness of the risks of distracted driving a top priority of his agency.
Two national traffic safety education organizations are heeding Sec. LaHood's call by inviting teens to help spread the word to their peers about the dangers of distracted driving with a contest to find the best youth-generated public service messages for radio.
Entries are now open for the second annual JST DRV Radio PSA Contest, sponsored by The National Road Safety Foundation and NSSP, the National Student Safety Program of the American Driver and Traffic Safety Education Association (ADTSEA).
Teens ages 14 – 18 are invited to submit a radio PSA that talks to their peers about distracted driving. The winner will receive a $1,000 prize and a trip to Wisconsin to participate in the NSSP national youth conference in mid-July. The winning PSA will also be broadcast nationally on the air and online. Three runners-up will each receive a $500 prize.
"We hope this contest will encourage young people to communicate important messages about distracted driving to peers in their own voice," said Michelle Anderson of The National Road Safety Foundation.
"As today's technology enables young people to be constantly connected with friends, distracted driving is a major problem that is growing in scope exponentially," said Jan Meeker, of the Hawaii Dept. of Education and NSSP Liaison to ADTSEA. "A quarter of all teens admit to texting behind the wheel and, in 2009, the highest proportion of distracted drivers in fatal crashes was under the age of 20."
Last year's winner, Avneet Singh, a ninth-grader at Sumner Hill Junior High School in Clinton, Mississippi, wrote and submitted a 30-second radio PSA that begins with the sound of a car engine starting, followed by the sound of fingers texting on a cell phone. We hear the engine revving, and then tires squealing and a crash. The voiceover reminds us, "Texting is a leading cause of teenage deaths. Dying to text is no LOL (laughing out loud) matter."
Entries, which must be received by May 31, 2012, should be recorded and must be 15 or 30 seconds in length. Entries must include a wmv file or a live link, and should be mailed to The National Road Safety Foundation JST DRV Contest, 18 East 50th St., New York, NY 10022. They can also be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The National Road Safety Foundation, a non-profit group celebrating 50 years, produces traffic safety education programs that it distributes free of charge to schools, police and others. Visit www.jstdrv.org or www.adtsea.org/nssp/ for complete contest rules and more information about the competition.
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