Video Contest to Curb Teen Distracted Driving

By: Demetria McClenton Email
By: Demetria McClenton Email

Each year, more than 5,500 people die because of distracted driving.

Accidents involving teenagers, texting while driving have skyrocketed.

The Alabama Department of Education is working on a new project for students to use their creativity to curb this behavior.

"We are unfortunately saddened in our schools across the state with other incidents that have happened because of cell phone use and driving," said Don Oswald with the Alabama Independent School Association.

Teens have many distractions- radio, other passengers and their cell phone.

“I've seen texting and driving not only in the car that I'm in but in others around me," said one teen.

"Teens are very savvy with their texting, I feel they're more confident then what they should be," said Kathy Compton, Providence Christian School Instructor.

This false sense of confidence often results in car crashes.
When more than half of teenagers across Alabama admitted to texting while driving, Alfa Insurance along with the State Department of Education and the Independent Schools Association decided to work to put the brakes on the matter.

"We decided to launch the Alfa drive smart campaign and the drive now, text later video contest," said Jerry Newby, ALFA Insurance President.

Each entry must be an original work and no longer than a minute.

"The first place prize is $1500 cash and an I-pad, the 2nd place is an I-pod touch and a $1,000 cash prize, the third place will receive an I-pod Nano and a $750 cash prize," said Dr. Joseph Morton, Alabama Department of Education Superintendent.

Alfa will match the cash prizes and donate it to the winning schools.

"This campaign will save lives and it's the most critical thing we can do to protect our students," said Morton.

Henry County Superintendent Dennis Coe says it's time to embrace this new technology in the classroom.

By educating kids and their parents on the appropriate use of cell phones, he hopes students won't have to learn their lessons the hard way.

The contest is open to Alabamians in grades 9 through 12 and runs from January 1st through March 31st.

For more information about the contest visit www.alfadrivesmart.com.


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