February 17, 2014
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Governor Malloy, Attorney General Jepsen and Safety Advocates
Choose Winning Teen Safe Driving Video Safety Messages
HARTFORD – Governor Dannel P. Malloy, Attorney General George Jepsen, Travelers executives, students and other teen driving safety advocates from around the state chose today their Top 10 best student-made videos submitted for the 2014 DMV-Travelers Teen Safe Driving Video Contest and selected five overall winners.
The annual public service video competition drew more than 137 entries that involved nearly 549 students statewide. They compete for $15,000 in prize money for their high schools provided by Travelers as the contest's corporate prize sponsor.
“This annual safe teen driving video contest has proven to be one of the best ways to reach out to young drivers in our state. It’s about peer interaction - teens talking to teens – which is generally the most effective way to spread the message of safe driving amongst young people,” said Governor Malloy. “Growing awareness and increased participation in this contest demonstrate that word is getting out and I want to congratulate all of this year’s participants on a job well done.”
The Governor, 10 students and other finalist judges discussed the impact of these 25-second video public service commercials. Schools ranking in the Top 10 are (alphabetically) and can be viewed at: http://tinyurl.com/2014dmvcontest
Arts at the Capitol Theater in Willimantic (two entries)
Daniel Hand High School in Madison (two entries)
Darien High School
East Lyme High School
Hall High School in West Hartford (two entries)
Simsbury High School
Waterbury Arts Magnet School
Contest judges also reviewed five multi-cultural language videos. Submissions were from East Haven High School, East Hartford High School, Journalism Media Academy in Hartford, Cheney Technical School in Manchester and Bunnell High School in Stratford. These videos can be seen at: http://tinyurl.com/2014multicultural
Yale-New Haven Children's Hospital is offering $500 to the school whose multi-cultural video gets the most views by end of March.
A student-designed theme, "Teen Drivers: Put Your Brakes on Distractions," opened a wide range of creativity in this year's high school contest submissions.
“The videos send very powerful and persuasive messages to all drivers about the dangers of distracted driving, but hopefully they will have the greatest impact on young drivers,” said Attorney General Jepsen. “The filmmakers have done great work in trying to persuade fellow students to stay safe behind the wheel and this contest is well-deserved recognition for their efforts.”
"We are proud of the work all students throughout the state did in this contest. A survey of students showed they learned about the many different hazards of distracted driving. Their videos bring a clear and concise message about this safety issue,” said DMV Commissioner Melody A. Currey.
David S. Shapiro, MD, FACS, of Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center, is a mentor to the DMV Teen Advisory Council. He is also Associate Director of Surgical Critical Care and Injury Prevention Physician Champion at the hospital.
"I’m so impressed as this contest continues to grow. The teens of Connecticut have a unique position—they are able to intervene and to endeavor to make change in our driving culture. Teens clearly recognize that they can be the example of safe driving habits," he said.
This year’s theme was crafted by five students who said they saw friends and others frequently drive distracted. They said they wanted a theme that would give students a topic that presents challenges they face every day when driving.
Students who worked on the project are Katherine Cimini of Rocky Hill, a senior, and Ama Appiah of Middletown, a junior, both at Mercy High School; and Stephanie Lewis of Woodbury, Hannah McCollam of New Fairfield, and Allie Caselli of Woodbury, all juniors at Nonnewaug High School in Woodbury.
“I want to help teens realize how important safe driving is while also promoting fun and creative ways to help teens and their families learn all about teen safe driving,” said Katherine Cimini.
And Stephanie Lewis added, “I think that encouraging teens to drive safely is very important. Last year, I submitted a video for the contest and it was a really good experience being able to learn a lot more about safe driving. I hope that the contest is able to inspire a great deal of teens to drive safely.”
"The teen contest participants outdid themselves again this year in their work to creatively communicate the importance about safe driving to their peers and the general public," said Henry Edinger, Chief Customer Officer, Travelers. "This contest continues to be a great way for students to add their voice and influence to the safe driving discussion. The video messages they create help everyone better understand the responsibility we all have when we get behind the wheel."
Travelers, as the contest's corporate sponsor, donates $15,000 in prizes to winning students' schools - $5,000 for first place; $4,000 for second place; $3,000 for third place; $2,000 for fourth place; and $1,000 for fifth place. The winners will be announced at April 7 awards ceremony.
Motor vehicle crashes nationally are the leading cause of death for 15- to 20-year-olds, resulting in roughly one-third of all deaths for this age group. Among the risk factors is overconfidence and risk-taking behaviors, which students depict in the videos as safety hazards.
Connecticut has been a national leader in enacting and upgrading teen-driver legislation. In 2014 Connecticut marked the 10th anniversary for imposing restrictions and stronger safety standards on teen drivers, a recent DMV analysis shows these standards have brought large decreases in crashes, injuries and deaths in the last decade. When comparing deaths and injuries before and after these laws took effect, the analysis shows an overall average of more than a 60-percent reduction in crashes, deaths and injuries among 16 and 17-year-old drivers. The information is contained the newly compiled 2013 DMV Report on Teen Safe Driving in Connecticut.