Spring is coming, and in addition to flowers popping up in the garden, it also means better weather for teens to --you guessed it-- film their own safe driving Public Service Announcement (PSA).
That's right; last September, at the Grand Prix of Baltimore, we announced a a new video challenge that invites teens and young adults to produce a PSA encouraging their peers to avoid distracted driving.
The two winning PSAs (one for college students, one for high schoolers) will be announced during Global Youth Traffic Safety Month in May. In addition to earning their creators a scholarship, the winning PSAs will air on television stations nationwide. Other top finishers will win the opportunity to attend a one-day survival skills class at the Skip Barber Racing School.
The deadline to submit videos is April 1, 2013.
Now, that date is fast approaching, so I'm taking to the blog to give young Americans one more reminder that there's still time to get out there and--safely--shoot their PSAs. If you know any young filmmakers or safety advocates, please encourage them to visit http://projectyellowlight.com/ for details.
This contest is a joint effort from DOT's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and our terrific safety partners at Mazda Motorsports, Project Yellow Light, the Ad Council and the National Organizations for Youth Safety.
Watch as highly trained race drivers fail to drive safely in a simulator while distracted
As NHTSA Administrator David Strickland said, "Today's teenagers make no secret about the fact that they want to stay connected to their social networks and enjoy text messaging. That's why it's so important that we educate young drivers of the dangers of distracted driving and help them make smart decisions that will keep them safe."
All of our partners in this contest know that safe driving is no accident--it means focusing your attention on the road and not on your electronic devices. We also know that young Americans listen to their friends.
So we're urging teens and young adults to put their cameras and their imaginations to good use with a PSA that sends a powerful safety message.
The bottom line is this: No matter your age, when you take your focus off the road – even if just for a moment – you put your life, and the lives of others, in danger. Distracted driving is unsafe. It’s irresponsible. And, in a split second, one text or call can wreck it all.
But it is preventable. Working together, we can save lives.