September 19, 2012
For Immediate Release
Teen Safe Driving: Are You In?
DMV Launches Fifth Annual Teen Safe Driving Video Contest
WETHERSFIELD – Teen Safe Driving: Are You In?
It's the question that five teens have designed for their peers as well as parents and other role models across the state as the theme for the 2013 DMV teen safe driving video contest. The agency and corporate prize sponsor Travelers Companies kicked off the competition today.
A recently completed parent survey as well as analysis of DMV teen driving laws show that the laws are helping to reduce teen crashes, injuries and deaths, but that public outreach like the contest is needed to help all parents and teens better understand the laws.
“Keeping Connecticut’s roads safe is everyone’s responsibility,” said Governor Dannel P. Malloy. “Teaching our youngest drivers how to be safe behind the wheel saves lives. Stronger laws and innovative programs are one part of the solution, but raising awareness among teen drivers and their parents is the key to road safety. I applaud these young people for their commitment to get the word out to their peers.”
"This contest is a fun and creative way to get the important message out to teens about safe driving," said Juhi Gupta, a Rocky Hill senior from Mercy High School in Middletown and one of the five student advisors to the contest. "The more students participating, the farther the message spreads. Not only to teens, but also to the adults in their lives. "
The student-designed theme, as well as a greater use of social media by the teens, are new features coming this year to the contest. It awards $15,000 in cash prizes to the high schools of winning students.
The five students volunteered to help make the contest, which has run annually since 2009, more appealing to teens across the state. They said a simple-to-understand theme that engages influential people, such as parents, friends or other teens, is at the heart of a convincing safety message.
The 25-second videos also must illustrate two or more of the state's teen driving laws, too. The deadline for submitting a video is January 23, 2013. The contest is open to all high-school age students. Information and rules can be found at www.ct.gov/teendriving/contest
Students working on the project are Gupta of Rocky Hill, Michael Brainerd of East Haven, Luke Edwards of Madison, Daniyal N. Khan of Berlin and Patrick Kudej of Norwich. They also are members of DMV's Commissioner's Advisory Committee on Teen Safe Driving.
In addition, the teens plan to help increase the number of entries and participants from the 105 submissions this year. The teens also plan to reach out to student councils, parent-teacher organizations and school officials through e-mails. They also plan to use social media to help promote the contest to other teens. They have already setup:
"Involving students to help create this theme and promote the contest, " said DMV Commissioner Melody A. Currey, "is one more way to have important people in a teen's life help to teach them to drive safely and responsibly. We're excited about working with these five teens to make the contest better."
“Travelers is pleased to once again sponsor the Teen Safe Driving Video Contest,” said Doreen Spadorcia, Vice Chairman for Travelers. “We applaud the efforts of the students who are helping to increase awareness of the contest among their peers, thereby further spreading the word about keeping teens safe behind the wheel. This year’s theme, “Teen Safe Driving: Are You In?” highlights the importance of teens and adults working together to promote safe driving habits.”
Travelers has been the corporate prize sponsor the last three years. It also hosts an evening recognition dinner and awards individual plaques to winning students the day the top choices are announced. A panel of judges comprised of safety advocates, public health professionals and state officials select the winners. High schools are required to use the winning funds to create teen safe driving programs.
Promotional sponsors of the contest include the Connecticut Police Chief’s Association; the Connecticut State Police; Mourning Parents Act (!MPACT), (a bereaved parents group); the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center; Yale-New Haven Hospital; Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center; The Connecticut Association of Schools; the state Department of Public Health; The state Department of Insurance, the state Department of Transportation; the state Division of Criminal Justice and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
The deadline for entries is January 23, 2013.