Earlier this month, a Massachusetts teen was sentenced to a year in prison for vehicular homicide after texting while driving. Texts are often quick and trivial—a last minute raincheck, a chuckle-worthy photo—but it's becoming clear that texting while driving is a serious public safety problem.
According to the Federal Communications Commission, nearly 50 percent of teens admit to texting and driving. It’s also become an issue that states are trying to fix legislatively. A map by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety shows that text messaging is banned for all drivers in 39 states and the District of Columbia and novice drivers are banned from texting in Mississippi, Missouri, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas. It’s time to give drivers the extra push to stop texting behind the wheel.
GOOD Maker has partnered with Project Yellow Light, a national organization and scholarship fund dedicated to spreading texting and driving awareness among high school students through short videos. Founded in 2007 by Julie Garner after her son, Hunter, was killed in a car accident, Project Yellow Light uses the power of video and peer messaging to encourage other teens not to text and drive. The project's 60-second videos use a wide variety of creative techniques—animation, song, monologue, comedy—to get their message across.
"We want to provide a sincere way for teens to reach each other in ways adults haven’t been able to," says Garner.
This year the organization received more than 400 video submissions, and with GOOD Maker’s 2012 People’s Choice Scholarship Contest challenge, it's your chance to vote for your favorite from the 51 competition finalists. Voting runs until July 12 at noon Pacific Time and the winning video producer will be awarded a $400 scholarship.
Photos courtesy of Julie Garner