DMV-Travelers Announce Winners in 2019 Teen Safe Driving Video Contest

Videos help raise awareness about teen driver safety
HARTFORD – The Department of Motor Vehicles and Travelers announced the winning high schools in their jointly sponsored 2019 Teen Safe Driving Video Contest. The videos focused on educating teens on how to be safer drivers to prevent crashes, injuries and deaths. 
  • First place goes to a student at Conard High School in West Hartford.
  • Second-place goes to a student team at The Williams School in New London.
  • Third place goes to a Wilton High School student. 
The announcement was made on April 22 at the Connecticut Science Center in a ceremony to honor all award recipients. This year’s video contest theme was: “Wait, what can WE do?”
“Getting young drivers more involved in initiatives like this is important. Unfortunately, they are more likely to be involved in accidents – some of which could be fatal,” Governor Ned Lamont said.  “I want to congratulate all of the students who participated and helped spread this important message.”
“In 2018 there were 33,526 learner’s permits issued to teen drivers in Connecticut and while we happily welcome these new drivers on our roads, it’s important they recognize the real consequences of unsafe driving,” Lt. Governor Susan Bysiewicz said.  “If you’re speeding, driving reckless, street racing, using a cell phone or texting while driving you could face a fine and suspension of your license. I applaud the over 500 students across the state who participated in this year’s video contest and I congratulate the winners.”
“This year’s theme is important because it reminds teens they play a vital role in safe driving and they must understand the importance of developing responsible habits behind the wheel,” said DMV Commissioner Sibongile Magubane, who praised both the students and their schools for the commitment to teen safe driving.  “It’s inspiring to see the amazing work of our state’s high school students who used their talents to spread such an important safety message.”
This year marks the 11th year anniversary for both the Teen Safe Driving Video Contest and the legislature’s adoption in 2008 of tougher teen driving laws to combat crashes, injuries and deaths. The laws have produced dramatic reductions in fatal crashes for these 16-and 17-year-old drivers. 
For instance, after the Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) laws were passed, teen car crash fatalities decreased by 65 percent, from an average of 18.4 annual fatalities from 2001-2007 to 6.5 per year from 2009-2018, according to Dr. Neil Chaudhary, a traffic safety scientist of Preusser Research Group based in Trumbull. Connecticut’s strong laws are credited as a significant factor in these key findings. 
The DMV-Travelers video contest encourages teens in high schools statewide to think about decisions that could cause a crash in an instant. More than 500 students from 36 schools participated, submitting a contest record-setting 211 videos. This year’s theme, “Wait, what can WE do?” was developed by 11 student advisors to the DMV.
“In 2008, the more stringent teen driving GDL laws were enacted which have raised awareness and helped reduce crashes, injuries and deaths. I am proud to see Connecticut’s laws continue to have a positive impact on teen driving and safety,” said DMV Deputy Commissioner Tony Guerrera and former co-chair of the Legislature’s Transportation Committee.
"The CT DMV's Teen Safe Driving Video Contest is a powerful platform to remind drivers to make smart choices behind the wheel, and we are proud to support it once again,” said Michael Klein, Executive Vice President and President, Personal Insurance at Travelers. “Teenagers talking about the importance of safe driving can have a meaningful and positive influence on their peers.” 
These videos will be used to raise teens’ safety awareness through peer-to-peer conversation. For instance, the Conard High School video will be featured in advertising by the state Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Governor’s Highway Safety Office. DOT is a leader in the state in preventative measures to stop distracted driving and has received federal grants to study the behavior among motorists.
The contest also made awards to schools for: Use of Community Members (The Morgan School, Clinton); Creativity Award (Wilton High School); Use of Different Media (Wilton High School) and Use of Teen Driving Laws (Wilton High School).   Yale New Haven Hospital’s Injury Prevention program also awarded Middletown High School for creating the video submission with the best multicultural messaging.


All winning videos can be viewed at  
View the three top-ranking videos: 
First Place
Conard High School (West Hartford)
Maya Barlow (student director)
Watch here:  
Second Place
The Williams School (New London) 
Kaitlyn Burzin (student director), Keri Doherty, Jonathan Ensminger, Kylie Lombardi, Katerina Petrosky, Madeleine Pralea, Alexandros Tsipouras and John Wu.
Watch here:   
Third Place
Wilton High School
Clara Jane Edgecomb (student director) 
Watch here: