Kids growing up is just what happens. When my youngest, Aedan, turned 13 this year somehow it hit me kinda hard that I had 2 teenagers in the house. What really put me over the edge is when Ally, my 16 year old, asked me who was going to teach her to drive, me, or her Dad?
Well, first of all, neither one of us will. I’ll be signing her up to the local driving school. We live on top of a small mountain with some windy roads that can get tricky to navigate, and I am slightly terrified of her driving down them. I didn’t think ahead! It’s not HER I’m worried about, it’s the other people. Many times, I’ve come around a blind curve with another car coming at me in my lane! Thank goodness I pay attention! That includes never texting and driving. I know I can say it until I am blue in the face, but oftentimes hearing words from others will really make an impact. That’s where Project Yellow Light Comes in.
Project Yellow Light is a national contest and scholarship program that asks students to create short videos teaching other students how dangerous it is to use mobile devices while driving. Distracted driving kills! 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. The help spread the students message about distracted driving, NHTSA, along with the Ad Council is turning 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.”
This was the winner video. I have to admit, it gave me chills.
You should take a minute to watch all the videos. They are all fantastic.
The two age categories were High School Junior and Senior and College. The high school grand prize winner was Marlowe Lexvold, of South Haven, Minnesota, , with her video going on to become a public service announcement, along with a $5000 college scholarship. Second Place went to Aneyza Clark of Dallas, Texas with a $2000 scholarship and third place to Ryan Robert Reid of Fairburn, Georgia with a $1000 scholarship. The college grand prize winners were brothers Sam and Wrenn Senser from South Bend, Nebraska, ($5000) and second place Lindsey Brown of Culver City, California, ($2000) and third place Tiago DeSouza of Hagerstown, Maryland. ($1000). All scholarships were provided by Mazda Motorsports. U-Haul will also provide both first place winners with up to $2,500 in moving expenses.
I talk to my kids about the dangers of distracted driving all the time. In fact, they both flipped out on me one day when I was stuck at a LONG light and decided to check a message I sent. And you know what? They were right! I know that it’s MY job to teach them first and foremost on how to be safe, but hearing and seeing these messages from people their own age is very impactful.