The seventh annual DMV -Travelers Teen Safe Driving Video Contest top-ranking winners were announced tonight with Daniel Hand High School in Madison taking first place for the second straight year. Students crafted videos with the theme, "Steer Your Friends in the Right Direction."
Highway safety advocates, state and other officials honored teens from across Connecticut on Tuesday evening for their work to promote safe driving during the DMV-Travelers teen safe driving video contest. This year's other winners were: Second Place – Coginchaug Regional High School in Durham; Third Place – William H. Hall High School in West Hartford; Fourth Place – Howell Cheney Technical High School in Manchester; and Fifth Place – Arts at the Capitol Theater in Willimantic.
"We all know the importance of safe driving, but safe teen drivers go on to become safe adult drivers. That's why spreading awareness through contests like these are so vital. I want congratulate and thank all the students and teams who participated," said Governor Dannel P. Malloy
"These students have done a thorough job in cautioning their peers to stay safe behind the wheel," said Attorney General Jepsen. "This year's participants deserve full recognition for their efforts in sending a powerful and persuasive message to all drivers about the dangers of distracted driving."
DMV Commissioner, Andres Ayala, Jr., said, "The theme – Steer Your Friends in the Right Direction – presents a conversation-starter and a clear message to teens that they have a unique influence on their peers. These videos show that. Teens can contribute to safety as a driver and a passenger."
Doreen Spadorcia, Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Claim, Personal Insurance and Bond & Specialty Insurance., said, "We continue to support the Teen Safe Driving Video Contest because we believe strongly in the power of programs that encourage safe driving. This contest exemplifies and encourages positive peer behavior that will help contribute to better teen driving population and safer roads in Connecticut. Congratulations to all the winners." The Contest at a Glance
Five winning schools among the finalists will share in a $15,000 cash prize provided by Travelers, the contest's co-sponsor that also hosted the awards ceremony at its flagship Claim U facility in Windsor, CT. Travelers also donated prizes and gifts to the students and high schools.
In addition in separate awards, Wilbur Cross High School in New Haven won the DMV Teen Safe Driving Multi-Cultural Award and New Canaan High School won The Travelers Challenge.
There were 114 student-team submissions that involved a total of nearly 350 students statewide representing 34 high schools. Videos of the winners and other finalists can be viewed on DMV's YouTube site at: http://www.youtube.com/teensafedriving12
Daniel Hand High School will receive $5,000 for first place, Coginchaug Regional High School will receive $4,000 for second place, William H. Hall High School will receive $3,000 for third place, Howell Cheney Technical High School will receive $2,000 for fourth place and Arts at the Capitol Theater will receive $1,000 for fifth. Wilbur Cross High School will receive $1,000 from the multi-cultural award sponsor, Yale-New Haven Children's Hospital and New Canaan High School will also receive $1,000 from Travelers for garnering the most views on the DMV Teen Safe Driving YouTube Channel.
Also, students on the first-place winning team were awarded tablets from AT&T.
John Emra, President of AT&T Connecticut said, "We are pleased to join Governor Malloy, DMV Commissioner Ayala and his entire team, and the Travelers in their efforts to raise awareness about the dangers of distracted driving. On-going awareness campaigns have proven time and again to be one of the most important tools to change behavior and save lives."
Teen Drivers: Steer Your Friends in the Right Direction
The contest theme, "Steer Your Friends in the Right Direction," was developed by a group of student advisors representing several Connecticut high schools. The advisors said this theme delivers a simple message and challenges other teens to craft a message that can influence others to drive more safely.
In a teenager's life, his or her peers tend to hold a great influence on them. The theme asked participants to demonstrate a creative, unique and effective message about the influence teens have on one another to make responsible and safe decisions about driving – either as a driver or as a passenger. To enter this year's DMV contest, high school students were asked to direct, shoot and edit a 25-second public service announcement.
Students advisors working on the project are: Audrey Apanovitch of Glastonbury, attends Glastonbury High School; Allie Caselli and Stephanie Lewis, both of Woodbury, and Hannah McCollam, of New Fairfield, all of whom attend Nonnewaug High School; Ama Appiah of Middletown and Sophia Pelletier of East Hampton, both attend Mercy High School; Abhishek Gupta of Rocky Hill, attends Xavier High School; Benjamin Harlee of Hartford, attends Classical Magnet School; and Estefania Maya of Wethersfield, attends Wethersfield High School.
The DMV, Travelers and other safety advocates plan to use the videos submitted in a variety of outreach programs that it conducts as well as offer them to schools, businesses, government agencies, advocacy groups and other partners in teen safe driving.
Other promotional contest partners include AT&T, the Connecticut Police Chiefs Association; the Connecticut State Police; Mourning Parents Act (!MPACT), (a bereaved parents group); the Connecticut Children's Medical Center; Yale-New Haven Children's Hospital; Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center; The Connecticut Emergency Nurses Association, the state Department of Public Health; The state Department of Insurance, the state Department of Transportation; and the state Division of Criminal Justice.
DMV started the contest following its lead in crafting tougher teen driving laws (https://ct.gov/teendriving/laws
), including longer passenger restrictions and curfews as well as increased penalties for violations and added training requirements. Other Awards to TeensThe Travelers Challenge
- $1,000 to the school in the Top 11 getting the most YouTube views on DMV's Center for Teen Safe Driving YouTube Channel. It is to be used in providing a teen safe driving program. This year it went to a finalist video from New Canaan High School for garnering 3,913 views as of April 1, 2015. Travelers is the award's corporate prize sponsor. DMV Teen Safe Driving Multi-Cultural Award
- $1,000 to the school presenting the best multi-cultural messaging in a video submitted to the contest. Wilbur Cross High School in New Haven was selected among four other finalists with a message of diversity. Yale-New Haven Children's Hospital's Injury Prevention Program is the award's sponsor.
All 11 overall finalist teams received certificates from Governor Dannel P. Malloy and DMV Commissioner Andres Ayala, Jr., as well as gift baskets from Travelers.
Screening panels, including representatives from law enforcement, media, students and parents, narrowed the 114 submissions to Top 11 finalists, which included a tie vote in one instance for the total of 11 teams. Afterwards a panel of judges representing highway safety advocates that included Attorney General George Jepsen, DMV Commissioner Andres Ayala, Jr., Travelers Executive Vice President, Claims Services, Robert C. Brody, and other safety advocates, selected the ranking winners.
The following are the top-prize ranking videos based on judges' review of overall impact, originality and cinematic style:
Below is a list of all the directors who submitted a qualifying video entry. Only the student director is listed below, although most video contest entries came from a group effort by students. The number listed after each high school represents the number of entries submitted from that school. An asterisk (*) next to a student director's name signifies that the entry was one of the five top winners. Two asterisks (**) next to a student director's name indicates that the entry was one of the six finalists in the contest.
J. Stephen Joseph II