Students at Hall High School in West Hartford went home with more awards than any other school in a statewide video contest meant to inspire teens to think about the dangers of driving.
Different teams of students at Hall High took third- and fourth-place prizes, in addition to an award for the most online views of a YouTube video in the contest. But it was a team from Norwich that won first prize,, and an East Haven team placed second.
The fourth annual teen safe-driving video contest in Connecticut is hosted by The Travelers Cos. and the state Department of Motor Vehicles. Teens who chose to organize themselves into groups and enter the contest were instructed to direct, shoot and edit a 25-second public service announcement. The group sizes ranged from a few students to more than 15.
The theme this year was "how a community helps to make teens safe drivers." Videos had to show how a community helps to prevent crashes, injuries and deaths among 16- and 17-year-old drivers — the youngest and least experienced drivers.
There were 103 videos submitted this year from 25 different schools across the state. Last year, the contest received 164 videos, and there were 79 submitted in 2010.
Videos were judged by a panel that included highway safety advocates, Travelers executives and Gov.Dannel P. Malloy. To see the winning videos, visit http://www.youtube.com/teensafedriving12
"The videos raise awareness for not only the importance of safe driving, but also the significant role and shared responsibility that parents, educators, administrators and community members have in reinforcing the safe driving message," said Travelers vice chairwoman Doreen Spadorcia.
Winners were announced Thursday at Travelers Claims University in Windsor. Winning schools share in a $15,000 cash price by Travelers in addition to other prizes for students. First-place students also each received a Kindle Fire and a $50 gift card as additional prizes from Travelers.
The DMV started the contest in 2008 after the state passed tougher laws regarding teen driving. For information on the laws, visit http://ct.gov/teendriving/laws. Travelers also has a website dedicated to teen driving, http://www.Travelers.com/teendrivingcontest
"This video contest continues to be a fun and popular competition that allows high school students to showcase their creative talents and communicate an extremely important safe driving message to peers," said DMV Commissioner Melody A. Currey.
"Keys To Our Community" by Norwich Free Academy
Patrick Kudej – director
Cheray L. Fitzgerald, teacher
David Klein, superintendent
"They are There Because They Care" by East Haven High School