FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
9th Annual Teen Safe Driving Contest Ceremony
Highway safety advocates, state and other officials honored teens from across Connecticut on Thursday evening for their work to promote safe driving during the DMV-Travelers teen safe driving video contest. The second-place winner was Haddam-Killingworth High School, followed by East Lyme High School in third place.
"Congratulations to the winners and to all the participants in this year's Teen Safe Driving Video Contest," said Attorney General George Jepsen. "We all play an important part in encouraging and instilling safe driving habits in new, teenage drivers. Thank you to the DMV and to Travelers for again coordinating a successful event."
DMV Commissioner, Michael Bzdyra said, "This year’s theme -- One Split Second… – provided students with a powerful and concise starting off point to create a clear message about good decision making as a driver or a passenger. These students and their videos did a fantastic job of using the contest theme to remind their peers of what can happen in a very short amount time.”
"We strongly believe in the power of programs that promote safety behind the wheel,” said Henry Edinger, Chief Customer Officer at Travelers. “This contest encourages teens to appreciate the responsibility that comes with driving and the importance of staying alert and focused. Congratulations to all of the winners for helping to make our roadways safe.”
The Contest at a Glance
In addition in separate awards, Simsbury High School won the award for use of community members; East Lyme High School won the award for use of humor; Wheeler High School (North Stonington) won the award for use of music; and Woodland Regional High School (Beacon Falls) won the award for use of parental figure. Woodland Regional High School also won the DMV Teen Safe Driving Multi-Cultural Award and Weston High School won The DMV-Travelers Challenge for most views on YouTube among the top-three overall winners.
There were over 150 student-team submissions that involved a total of nearly 400 students statewide representing 37 high schools. Videos of the winners can be viewed on DMV's YouTube site at: http://www.youtube.com/teensafedriving12
Weston High School will receive $6,000 for first place and the winning student team will split $1,250 in Visa Gift cards; Haddam-Killingworth High School will receive $5,000 for second place and the winning student team will split $1,000 in Visa Gift cards; and East Lyme High School will receive $4,000 for third place and the winning student team will split $750 in Visa Gift cards. Woodland Regional High School will receive $1,000 from the multi-cultural award sponsor, Yale-New Haven Children's Hospital and the winning student team from Weston High School will split $1,000 in Visa Gift cards from Travelers for garnering the most views on the DMV Teen Safe Driving YouTube Channel.
The Contest Theme: One Split Second…
It only takes one second for teens behind the wheel or with friends to make a positive or negative decision related to driving. That decision can have lasting effects on one’s safety, future and life. The contest challenged students to use the theme “One Split Second..,” to demonstrate a creative, unique and effective message related to making responsible and safe decisions about driving. To enter this year's DMV contest, high school students were asked to direct, shoot and edit public service announcement up to 45 seconds in length.
Student advisors who worked on the project are Kojo Appiah and Luc Milam of Xavier High School in Middletown; Hannah Chua-Reyes, Alexandra Porczak and Maggie Silbo of Mercy High School in Middletown; Sam Fiske, Colman Galgovich, Devin Hartzog, Yusuf Malik, Armani Nieves and Alexander Walshaw of William H. Hall High School in West Hartford; Tyler Lemire of Arts at the Capitol Theater in Willimantic; Dylan Madden of W.F. Kaynor Technical High School in Waterbury; and Angela Zhu of Cheshire High School.
The DMV, Travelers and other safety advocates plan to use the videos submitted in a variety of outreach programs that it conducts as well as offer them to schools, businesses, government agencies, advocacy groups and other partners in teen safe driving.
Other promotional contest partners include AAA; the Connecticut Police Chiefs Association; the Connecticut State Police; Mourning Parents Act (!MPACT), (a bereaved parents group); the Connecticut Children's Medical Center; Yale-New Haven Children's Hospital; Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center; The Connecticut Emergency Nurses Association, the state Department of Public Health; The state Department of Insurance, the state Department of Transportation; and the state Division of Criminal Justice.
DMV started the contest following its lead in crafting tougher teen driving laws (https://ct.gov/teendriving/laws), including longer passenger restrictions and curfews as well as increased penalties for violations and added training requirements.
Other Awards to Teens
DMV Teen Safe Driving Multi-Cultural Award - $1,000 to the school presenting the best multi-cultural messaging in a video submitted to the contest. A video from Woodland Regional High School in Beacon Falls was selected for its message of diversity. Yale-New Haven Children's Hospital's Injury Prevention Program is the award's sponsor.
All winning teams received certificates from Governor Dannel P. Malloy and DMV Commissioner Michael Bzdyra, as well as gift baskets from Travelers.
Screening panels, including representatives from law enforcement, media, students and parents, narrowed over 150 submissions to finalists. Afterwards a panel of judges representing highway safety advocates that included Attorney General George Jepsen, DMV Commissioner Michael Bzdyra, Travelers executive Eric Nordquist, and other safety advocates, selected the ranking winners.
- First place – Nathan Katz (student director), Michael Bogaev, Andrew Harwood and Alex McCall of Weston High School. (YouTube link: https://youtu.be/_MaZSnnqC_s)
- Second place – Markus Trahan (student director), Aidan Korper, Rachel Senechal and Josh White of Haddam-Killingworth High School. (YouTube link: https://youtu.be/gz73xTJoB-Q)
- Third place – Gregory Stewart (student director), Daniel Sackett and Yalley Sackett of East Lyme High School. (YouTube link: https://youtu.be/_7-4R5LQYcI)
- Use of Community Members – Amira Elkeky (Student Director) and Sophie Cassano of Simsbury High School. (YouTube link: https://youtu.be/BdtYs5KR_UI)
- Use of Humor - Gregory Stewart (student director), Daniel Sackett and Yalley Sackett of East Lyme High School. (YouTube link: https://youtu.be/_7-4R5LQYcI)
- Use of Music - Michael Anderson (student director), Donny Davino, Evan Jones and Samantha Muller of Wheeler High School in North Stonington. (YouTube link: https://youtu.be/fBA-uH1nppM)
- Use of Parental Figure - Katie Sirowich (student director) Ethan Carlone, Marko Gutierro, Brandon McCusker and Jack Setaro of Woodland Regional High School in Beacon Falls. (YouTube link: https://youtu.be/6QQInwPSFDE)
Winner – Woodland Regional High School (Beacon Falls) – Alexandra Cianciolo (student director) and Amir Otajagic. (YouTube link: https://youtu.be/fNE7DjanW9M)
Below is a list of all the directors who submitted a qualifying video entry. Only the student director is listed below, although most video contest entries came from a group effort by students. The number listed after each high school represents the number of entries submitted from that school. An asterisk (*) next to a student director's name signifies that the entry was one of the winners.
Bacon Academy (Colchester)
Engineering - Science University Magnet School (West Haven)
Fitch High School (Groton)
Glastonbury High School
Beckett Zinn Rawthorn