Teens Invited to Enter PSA Contest on Distracted Driving
Teens ages 14 to 18 are invited to enter a national contest to create a radio public service announcement (PSA) to help get the word out about the dangers of distracted driving. The second annual JST DRV! Radio PSA Contest — sponsored by The National Road Safety Foundation, the National Student Safety Program of the American Driver (NSSP), and Traffic Safety Education Association — begins on Thursday, Feb. 2.
The top prize is $1,000 and an expenses-paid trip to Wisconsin to the NSSP youth conference in mid-July, and the winning PSA will be broadcast nationally on the air and online. Three runners-up will each receive a $500 prize.
The National Road Safety Program writes in a press release in The Sacramento Bee:
Last year’s winner, Avneet Singh, a ninth-grader from Clinton, Mississippi, submitted a radio PSA that begins with the sound of a car engine starting, followed by the sound of fingers texting on a cell phone. We hear the engine revving, and then tires squealing and a crash. The voiceover says, ‘Texting is a leading cause of teenage deaths. Dying to text is no LOL (laughing out loud) matter.’
Entries should be recorded and must be 15 or 30 seconds in length. Entries must include a wmv file or a live link, and should be mailed by April 30 to National Road Safety Foundation JST DRV Contest, 18 East 50th St., New York, NY 10022. They can also be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Distraction.gov, the official U.S. government website for distracted driving, reports that according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), car accidents caused by distracted driving in 2009 killed 5,474 people and injured an estimated 448,000 people, and that 16% of fatal crashes in 2009 involved reports of distracted driving.
And texting has been increasing. Distraction.gov also reports that according to CTIA (The Wireless Association), in the month of June 2011, more than 196 billion text messages were sent or received in the U.S. — an increase of nearly 50% since June 2009.
All distractions endanger drivers, passengers, and bystanders, says Distraction.gov, including:
• Using a cell phone or smartphone
• Eating and drinking
• Talking to passengers
• Reading, including maps
• Using a navigation system
• Watching a video
• Adjusting a radio, CD player, or MP3 player
You can find information about distracted driving laws in every state at distraction.gov. For example, in Colorado there is a ban on all cell phone use (handheld and hand-free) for novice drivers, and a ban on texting for all drivers.
“Traffic crashes are the number one cause of death among U.S. teens, with 5,000 young people killed annually and thousands more injured,” said Michelle Anderson of The National Road Safety Foundation. “The U.S. Secretary of Transportation has called distracted driving a national epidemic, and this contest will encourage young people to communicate important messages about the issue to peers in their own voice.”
You can hear previous winning entries at: http://www.nrsf.org/teenlane/pastwinners/
Image by The National Road Safety Foundation, used under Fair Use: Reporting.