DMV: Governor Malloy, Safety Advocates Choose Winning Teen-Driving Video Safety Messages


February 20, 2012



Governor Malloy, Safety Advocates Choose

Winning Teen-Driving Video Safety Messages


New Study Also Shows CT Teen Driving Laws

Are Helping to Reduce Crashes


HARTFORD, Conn.  Governor Dannel P. Malloy, Travelers executives and other teen driving safety advocates from around the state ranked today the Top 10 best entries in the 2012 DMV teen safe driving video contest and chose five overall winners.


A public-service video competition, the contest is open to high-school age teenagers statewide and drew more than 100 entries and the five top winners will be announced at an April awards ceremony. Students focused on the theme “How A Community Helps to Make Teens Safe Drivers” that also included laws tailored to this age group.


A recent analysis by national researchers shows that Connecticut's laws are having a strong impact on deterring crashes with these drivers.


“Getting information and support to teen drivers is critical to keeping them safe behind the wheel,” said Governor Malloy. “This contest helps us connect with our youngest drivers and ensure they understand their responsibility to minimize risks and develop good driving habits.  I commend all the students for their work —these young people represent a strong future for Connecticut.” 


“The DMV’s teen safe driving video contest, especially this year’s theme, emphasizes the importance and shared responsibility we have as parents and leaders in the community to help keep our teen drivers safe,” said Doreen Spadorcia, Executive Vice President & Chief Executive Officer, Claim and Personal Insurance for Travelers. “We are proud to see that every year teens and community leaders are participating to create more awareness about the importance of safe driving and how careless driving and heartbreaking accidents can impact families, schools and entire communities.”


The Governor and 25 other finalist judges reviewed the Top 10 finalists among the 103 video entries in the DMV contest called “From the Driver’s Seat to the Director’s Chair.” It required students to create a public service announcement focused on teens talking to teens about safe driving. It is the department's 4th year for offering the contest.


The Travelers is the contest's corporate sponsor and has donated $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.


In addition, Travelers and DMV are sponsoring a challenge to these ranking winners for student teams to engage their communities to make their video the most viewed among the Top 10 on the DMV YouTube site. Schools ranking in the Top 10 are (alphabetically) and can be viewed at:


  • Arts at the Capitol Theater, Willimantic
  • Coginchaug High School, Durham
  • Daniel Hand High School, Madison
  • Darien High School
  • East Haven High School
  • Hall High School, West Hartford (3 ranking videos)
  • Manchester High School
  • Norwich Free Academy


The school of the team whose video gets the most views will receive a $1,000 cash prize from Travelers. These and other videos have a strong influence in helping teens understand safety behind the wheel, DMV Commissioner Melody A. Currey said.


"We also believe that this contest and students' involvement is one way with high visibility for communities to help spread the message about safety behind the wheel for teens -- and everyone else."


She also pointed to the beneficial effects of the laws and public awareness as shown through a just-completed analysis by Preusser Research Group in Trumbull.  It found that Connecticut, since tougher teen driving laws were passed in 2008, has seen a greater decline in crashes involving these drivers when compared to the national average.


Teen crashes have been dropping nationally due to the poor economy and tough teen driving laws like those in Connecticut. However, Connecticut has seen a strong drop above the national average, according to Preusser. Comparing the only full sets of Connecticut crash data available, which are 2007 through 2009, Preusser found a 34 percent reduction in 16 and 17-year-olds' crashes in Connecticut compared to a 26-percent national average.


Examining changes over time, the firm also found significantly fewer crashes for this age group after an 11 p.m. curfew.  In addition, it also found that fewer crashes were happening with passengers in their cars following stronger passenger restrictions. Tougher curfew and passenger restrictions were part of the 2008 reform laws for teen drivers.


Preusser attributed the good news in all of these areas as a result of Connecticut's tougher teen driving laws. The firm found that the national decline stems mostly from a poor economy, but pointed out that Connecticut's added strong performance came from the 2008 laws.


Motor vehicle crashes nationally are the leading cause of death for 15- to 20-year-olds, causing 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.


Finalist judges in the contest this year represented DMV, Travelers, Rocky Hill School, Mercy High School, Farmington High School, Tolland High School, East Hartford High School, Cooperative Arts and Humanities Magnet High School in New Haven, Wilbur Cross High School in New Haven, Chaney Technical High School in Manchester, Ridgefield High School, Department of Public Health, Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, St. Francis Hospital, Yale-New Haven Children's Hospital, Department Public Safety and Connecticut State Police, Southington Police Department,  Conn. Police Chief’s Association,  the Judicial Branch, School of Communication at the University of Hartford, Governor’s Highway Safety Office, Preusser Research Group, national researchers in transportation matters, Mourning Parents Act, Inc., association of bereaved relatives and friends of teens who died in motor vehicle crashes, parents and the state General Assembly.

Content Last Modified on 4/13/2012 10:37:16 AM