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For Immediate Release
May 21, 2018

DMV-Travelers Announce Winners in
Teen Safe Driving Video Contest
Videos help raise awareness about teen driver safety

HARTFORD – The Department of Motor Vehicles and Travelers announced the top three high school winners in their jointly sponsored 2018 Teen Safe Driving Video Contest, where teens focused on the dangers of distracted driving and prevention of crashing, injuries and deaths. Weston High School earned first place for the third consecutive year.

The second-place winner was a student team from Middletown High School and third place also went to Weston High for another video submitted. Today's announcement was made at the Connecticut Science Center in a ceremony to honor all award recipients. This year’s theme was: Teen Safe Driver: Could This Be You? Every Second Matters.
“As summer approaches, instances of teen driving crashes increase,” Governor Dannel P. Malloy said. “While the state’s teen safe driving laws have been largely effective, it is imperative that we continue to educate young drivers of the perils of distracted driving. This year’s video submissions are a powerful, peer-to-peer reminder that safe driving practices are not just the law – they save lives.”
This year marks the 10th 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, fatal crashes involving them were more than 150 percent higher when the state had the more lenient teen driving laws. After the tougher laws were passed, the average for these fatal crashes sunk to seven per year in 2009-2016 compared to 18 annually from 2001-2007. And while teen driver fatal crashes per licensed driver nationally have trended upward by 26 percent in the last three years, Connecticut has seen a 40-percent decline. 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 400 students from nearly 25 schools participated, submitting more than 170 videos. The theme was developed by 12 student advisors to the contest and DMV.
“Making the videos gives students and schools the first-hand experience of understanding the laws by showing how dangers occur and how to prevent crashes,” said DMV Commissioner Michael Bzdyra, who praised both the students and their schools for the commitment to teen safe driving.
“It’s important for teens to engage with their peers about making smart decisions when getting behind the wheel, and that’s why we’ve continued to support the CT DMV Safe Driving Video Contest,” said Michael Klein, Executive Vice President and President, Personal Insurance at Travelers. “This contest helps to empower teens to speak up if their friends are acting dangerously when driving to ensure Connecticut’s roads are safe for everyone.”
These videos will be used to raise teens’ safety awareness through peer-to-peer conversation. For instance, the Weston 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.
In addition to the top three top ranking videos, the contest also made awards to schools for: Best Use of Diversity and Multi-Cultural Themes (Middletown High School); Best Use of Parental Theme (Woodland Regional High School, Beacon Falls); Best Use of Community Theme (Woodland Regional High School, Beacon Falls); Best Use of Music (Howell Cheney Technical School, Manchester) and Best Use of Humor (Arts at the Capitol Theater, Willimantic). All winning videos and past winners can be viewed at
View the three top-ranking videos:

First Place
Weston High School
Nathan Katz (student director) and David Katz.
Watch here:
Second Place
Middletown High School
Lorenzo Bufami (student director), Garrett Pellici and David Sands.
Watch here:

Third Place
Weston High School
Sofia Bara (student director), Anna Brosnihan and Sara Gibek.
Watch here: