Texting and driving is just a big mistake. As we were driving back from a baby naming the other day, two teens were in the SUV to our right. While we were in traffic, I watched as the two girls (both driver and passenger) fiddled with their makeup and played on their cell phones. And I couldn’t do a thing about it. But I CAN teach my children (ages almost 10, 7 1/2, and almost 5) that texting and driving is a BAD idea.
Project Yellow Light is a national contest and scholarship program that calls on students to create short videos educating their peers on the dangers of using mobile devices while driving. According to a 2013 NHTSA report, ten percent of all drivers aged 15-19 years old involved in fatal crashes were reported as distracted at the time of the crashes. This age group has the largest proportion of drivers who were distracted. To further the reach and impact of the peer-generated content, NHTSA has partnered with the Ad Council to turn the winning videos into public service advertisements, which will be distributed to more than 1,600 media outlets nationwide.
“Distracted driving is deadly and young drivers are most at risk, so we need to make sure they get the message,” said NHTSA Administrator Mark Rosekind. “The Project Yellow Light contest, which uses peer-to-peer messaging, demonstrates how creative public awareness efforts can reduce distracted driving on our roads.”
Winners were selected from two age categories: high school juniors and seniors, and college students. The high school grand prize was awarded to Marlowe Lexvold of South Haven, Minnesota. The college grand prize was awarded to brothers Sam and Wrenn Senser from South Bend, Nebraska.
The winning video:
Second and third place prizes were awarded to high school students Aneyza Clark of Dallas, Texas, and Ryan Robert Reid of Fairburn, Georgia, and college students Lindsey Brown of Culver City, California, and Tiago DeSouza of Hagerstown, Maryland. In addition to seeing their videos turned into PSAs, first place winners will receive $5,000 in college scholarship funding. Second-place and third place winners were awarded $2,000 and $1,000 scholarships, respectively. All scholarships were provided by Mazda Motorsports. U-Haul will also provide both first place winners with up to $2,500 in moving expenses.
You can view all the amazing winning videos HERE!
Don’t forget, while these videos are fantastic, as parents it is our responsibility to model the behavior we want to see from our kids so make sure that you also #stopthetexts!