The young address distracted driving

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Recently, tire maker Bridgestone Americas put together a contest whereby teenagers and young adults create and submit public service announcement (PSA) videos addressing the issue of distracted driving.

Out of over 2,300 submissions, Bridgestone selected three winners and one “Critics Choice” award that will receive college scholarship money and cash as prizes.

And these are some pretty striking PSAs, I might add. Take a look at A Reciprocal of Teen Drivers by Param Bodiwala, a freshman in engineering at Georgia Tech in Atlanta, GA, whose simple yet powerful video displays a group of sentences that initially illustrate a negative attitude, but when read in reverse order, present an unique and positive message about teen driving. Bodiwala, by the way, won a $25,000 scholarship for his entry.

Josh Chitwood of Carmi, IL, won second place and a $15,000 scholarship for his video August 19 that discusses how a good friend of his lost his life last fall in a distracted driving accident. Chitwood, by the way, is a freshman at North Central University in Minneapolis, MN, where he will be majoring (appropriately) in media studies.

Then there is Miguel Arango, a senior at John A. Ferguson Senior High School in Miami, FL, whose video Learn Early, Drive Safe takes a more humorous approach by using young children to demonstrate the dangers of distracted driving – no matter what the mode of transportation is. Arango won a $10,000 scholarship for his entry.

Finally, Mark Araya of Plant City, FL, and a junior at the University of South Florida in Tampa (where he's majoring in – go figure! – advertising) garnered what Bridgestone called its “Critic's Choice” award and a $2,500 cash prize by using animated characters to illustrate the dangers of driving distractions in his video My Distractions.

“Each year, we're amazed at the creativity of all the teenagers and young adults who enter the contest,” said Angela Patterson, manager of Bridgestone’s Teens Drive Smart program. “We're encouraged that so many 16 to 21 year olds across the country are taking note of how important it is to stop distractions and put safety first behind the wheel.”

It’s very creative stuff indeed. 

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