DMV Commissioner Andres Ayala Jr., Attorney General George Jepsen, Travelers Vice Chairman Doreen Spadorcia, students and other teen driving safety advocates from around the state endorsed today the Top 10 student-made videos in the 2015 DMV-Travelers Teen Safe Driving Video Contest for high school students. (See list below)
The annual public-service video competition, with the theme Steer Your Friends in The Right Direction, drew 114 entries that involved nearly 350 students statewide. They compete for $15,000 in prize money for their high schools in this contest Travelers and DMV co-sponsor. Five winners were selected and will be announced in April.
“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 our young drivers,” said Attorney General Jepsen. “These students have done excellent work in trying to caution fellow students to stay safe behind the wheel and this contest is well-deserved recognition for their efforts.”
DMV Commissioner Andres Ayala, Jr., said, “These videos represent many crucial safety messages teens need to consider whether they are drivers or they are passengers in another teen’s car. The videos also reach out across cultures to send one message about safety and saving lives.”
“We congratulate the teens for clearly and creatively communicating the dangers of driving,” said Doreen Spadorcia, Vice Chairman, Travelers. “Our hope is that the videos and their strong messages continue the dialogue about how we all play a part in keeping our teen drivers safe.”
DMV Commissioner Ayala, the Attorney General, Travelers Executive Vice President Robert C. Brody, nine students and 15 other finalist judges discussed the impact of these 25-second video public service commercials. Contest judges also reviewed five multi-cultural language videos for the new Multicultural-Diversity Teen Safe Driving Message.
(View all ranking videos below at: https://www.youtube.com/user/teensafedriving12
High Schools in Alphabetical Order Representing the Top 10 Overall Videos (including a tie vote in one instance for a total of 11 schools) Arts at the Capitol Theater, Willimantic (2 entries, including tie vote)
Howell Cheney Technical High School, Manchester
Coginchaug Regional High School, Durham
Daniel Hand High School, Madison (3 entries, including tie vote)
East Lyme High School
Hall High School, West Hartford
New Canaan High School
Rockville High School
High Schools in Alphabetical Order in the Multicultural – Top 5 Grouping Arts at the Capitol Theater, Willimantic (two entries)
East Lyme High School
Engineering - Science University Magnet School, Hamden
Wilbur Cross High School, New Haven
The student-designed theme, "Steer Your Friends in the Right Direction," opened a wide range of creativity in this year's high school contest submissions. This year’s theme was crafted by nine students who said they saw friends and others frequently drive without the needed care necessary. They wanted a theme that could focus on many different kinds of unsafe situations as well as encourage videos that could have friends influence friends.
Students who are members of DMV's Teen Advisory Council and who worked on creating the theme are: Benjamin Harlee of Classical Magnet School; Audrey Apanovitch of Glastonbury High School; Sophia Pelletier of Mercy High School; Ama Appiah of Mercy High School; Hannah McCollam, Allie Caselli, and Stephanie Lewis of Nonnewaug High School; Estefania Maya of Wethersfield High School and Abhishek Gupta of Xavier High School.
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. AT&T will provide each of the First Place winners with a tablet. The Multicultural-Diversity Award, offered by Yale-New Haven Children's Hospital, gives $1,000 to the high school of the top winner as chosen by the judges.
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 reasons are overconfidence and risk-taking behaviors. Connecticut has been a national leader in enacting and upgrading teen-driver legislation to prevent crashes, injuries and deaths.