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Press Releases

Governor Malloy Press Release Masthead
February 21, 2011
Travelers executives, state commissioners and other safety advocates all participate
HARTFORD - High school students' videos showing how teens should make the right choice for safety when behind the wheel were rated today by Governor Dannel P. Malloy, Travelers executives, state commissioners and other safety advocates. The group rated the best among 164 entries in the annual contest for teen safe driving.
The Governor and 21 other finalist judges reviewed the Top 10 finalist video entries in the Department of Motor Vehicles' contest, "From the Driver's Seat to the Director's Chair," for creating a public service video on the theme "Make the Right Choice." The judges selected three winners who will be announced at an April 4 awards ceremony.
"This contest is one of the many ways we need to reach out in our state to young drivers and show how safe driving will save their lives and help to reduce crashes, injuries and deaths," the Governor said. "The creativity in these videos and the use of technology by students presents a strong message on safety and it's done by teens talking to teens."
The 164 videos entered into the contest this year is a 100-percent increase compared to the previous year when DMV received 79 entries. The contest, which is in its third year, has drawn nearly 500 participating students across the state.
"The growing attention this contest receives proves that the word is getting out about teen driving safety. There can be many uses of these to continue to raise awareness in each young new driver we get every day and that can help to save lives," Governor Malloy added.
Schools ranking in the Top 10 are (alphabetically):
Arts at the Capitol Theater Magnet High School, Willimantic.
Cheney Technical High School, Manchester
Coginchaug High School, Durham
Danbury High School (2 entries) **
Daniel Hand High School, Madison
East Lyme High School (2 entries)
The Williams School, New London
West Haven High School
**List updated as of 3/3/11
In the special ceremony April 4 at Travelers' conference center in Windsor, student directors, videographers and actors will be honored by their parents, school administrators, contest judges and other state officials. They were chosen through a process involving more than 40 judges from around the state who helped to evaluate videos submitted.
The Travelers Companies, Inc. is the DMV's chief prize sponsor that awards cash prizes to the high schools of the top three winning entries.
"Travelers is proud to once again sponsor the DMV's teen driving video contest, and we consider this a key opportunity to raise awareness of the dangers of distracted driving and its impact on teens, our most vulnerable drivers," said Brian MacLean, Travelers President and Chief Operating Officer.
This year's contest encouraged students to explore risks teens take when driving and the consequences of both good and bad choices. Videos ranged from topics related to passenger safety, speeding and drinking and driving to text messaging, curfew violations and distracted driving.
Motor vehicle crashes nationally are the leading cause of death for 15- to 20-year-olds, causing roughly one-third of all deaths for this age group. Among the risk factors is overconfidence and risk-taking behaviors.
DMV Commissioner Melody A. Currey pointed out that this wide-range of videos addresses frequent issues associated with teens' risk-taking behavior behind the wheel.
"This contest and students' individual involvement helps to spread the message of safety by students actually seeing what happens as they put together a video showing a real-life situation. Role playing is a wonderful teacher as are our tougher laws," Commissioner Currey said.
Safety advocates believe Connecticut's toughened teen driving laws are beginning to have an effect. From 1997 to 2008, the number of 16 and 17 year old drivers in Connecticut who were involved in fatal crashes averaged about 16 per year. For the period following the August 2008 imposition of tougher teen-driving laws, restrictions, penalties and fines for teen drivers, that number dropped by 62 percent at the end of 2009.
High schools of the top three winners will receive a monetary award to continue to promote teen safe driving in their schools. Travelers awards $4,000 to the school of the first place winner, $3,000 to the second place winner's school and $2,000 to the school of the third place winner.
The top three winners will have their videos showcased in a number of venues, including state and highway safety advocate websites, as well as offered for airing in movie theaters, television stations and online video sites such as YouTube and Facebook where teens frequently visit. Promotional sponsors of the contest include the Connecticut Police Chief's Association, the Connecticut State Police, Mourning Parents Act (!MPACT- a bereaved parents group), the Connecticut Children's Medical Center, Yale-New Haven Hospital, Connecticut Department of Transportation, the State Division of Criminal Justice and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
For Immediate Release: February 21, 2011
Contact: Colleen Flanagan
860-524-7308 (office)
860-770-8090 (cell)
Twitter: @GovMalloyOffice
Facebook: Office of Governor Dannel P. Malloy