Monday, January 9, 2012

Teens Invited To Help Fight Distracted Driving As "DRIVE2LIFE" PSA Contest Launches

Contributed by Star Conrad, Director of Operations, Evergreen Safety Council 
Winner gets $1,000 and trip to NY City to work with award-winning director to turn concept into professional PSA for national broadcast.

NEW YORK, Jan. 5, 2012 -- The non-profit National Road Safety Foundation (NRSF) and Scholastic, the global children’s publishing, education and media company, are looking for ideas from young people to help convince their peers of the dangers of distracted driving. Entries open Jan. 7 for the 3rd annual Drive2Life PSA Contest. The winner will receive a $1,000 prize and an expenses-paid trip to New York to work with an award-winning TV director to turn his or her idea into a public service message that will be broadcast nationwide next May during Global Youth Traffic Safety Month.

"Traffic crashes are the leading cause of death among U.S. teens, with 5,000 killed annually," said Michelle Anderson of The National Road Safety Foundation, a non-profit group that produces driver safety materials that it distributes free to schools, police and traffic safety advocates. "Distraction is a major factor in many teen crashes, so we are encouraging young people to help us get the word out to their peers via television and the internet."

“The Drive2Life PSA Contest is a great way for students to get creative and let their voices be heard in the dialogue about the dangers of distracted driving,” said Francie Alexander, Chief Academic Officer at Scholastic. “We know from our years of working with teachers and listening to kids that they thrive when given projects connected to solving real world problems.”

Students in Grades 6 - 12 are invited to submit a PSA concept that addresses, in 30 seconds to as long as two minutes, the dangers of distracted driving. Ideas may be in the form of scripts, storyboards or treatments. No video will be accepted, and group entries are not accepted.

The creator of the winning PSA concept, judged by a panel of education and traffic safety experts and an award winning film director, will receive a $1,000 prize and an expenses-paid trip to New York City to work with the director to film and edit the idea into a professional PSA. Two runners-up in each grade category (Grades 6-8, 9-12) will each receive $500.

The winning PSA will be broadcast in May on more than 220 TV stations nationwide on the nationally-syndicated Teen Kids News. It will receive widespread airings on newscasts and online. The winner will also be profiled in Scholastic classroom magazines, which are used in classrooms by more than three million students and nearly 40,000 teachers.

"Distracted driving is a dangerous epidemic on our roadways, and teens are among the most at risk," said U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood." It's critically important for young drivers to get the message that even one text or call could have devastating consequences. This PSA contest is a creative opportunity for young people to promote safe driving in their communities and encourage their peers to put down their cell phones when they're behind the wheel."

A 16-year old Arizona high school student, Bethany Brown, won the first Drive2Life PSA Contest, with a 30-second spot titled, "There are no re-do's in real life." The winner in 2011 was 15-year old Lauren Daniels of Oswego, N.Y., whose spot used humor to get across the message, "Distracted Driving. Not funny."

"We were impressed with the excellent ideas we saw the past two years," said Sec. LaHood. "We look forward to seeing more great ideas from creative young people that will help make the risks of distracted driving resonate with their peers."

Visit National Road Safety Foundation (NRSF) or Scholastic for more information about the competition and for the entry form and complete rules. Deadline for entries is Feb. 29, 2012.

For nearly 50 years, the National Road Safety Foundation has created driver education programs and distributes them free to schools, police, traffic safety agencies, youth advocacy groups and others. NRSF has programs on distracted driving, speed and aggression, drinking and driving, and drowsy driving.
Media Contact: David Reich (212) 573-6000

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like a great contest that will bring needed awareness to the serious issue of distracted driving.


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