NJM Insurance Group, in partnership with the Brain Injury Alliance of New Jersey and Impact Teen Driver, has awarded a total of $60,000 to the winning New Jersey and Pennsylvania high schools in the fifth annual “Just Drive” public service announcement video contest.
The annual contest recognizes the importance of Distracted Driving Awareness Month. Locally, Berks Career and Technology Center won third place and $5,000 in the Pennsylvania PSA contest.
In the contest, students representing 92 high schools in New Jersey and Pennsylvania created 30-second video PSAs highlighting the dangers of distracted driving. Over 1,600 students also registered to take the “Just Drive” pledge, a campaign to help put an end to distracted driving. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, car crashes are a leading cause of preventable deaths for teens.
The video by Berks Career and Technology Center students titled “Game Begin,” highlights the important safety steps to take before driving including adjusting car mirrors, fastening seat belts, and storing cell phones.
First and second place winning Pennsylvania schools are: First Place: Canon-McMillan High School (Canonsburg, PA) won $15,000. Their PSA, “Just Drive,” cautions against risky driving behavior such as cell phone usage and speeding. Second Place: Fox Chapel Area High School (Pittsburgh, PA) won $10,000. Their PSA, “Driver’s Test,” encourages drivers to exercise the same responsible behavior they used to pass their driving test.
Prize money can be used for a post-prom, post-graduation or safe driving program.
”Our partners at the Brain Injury Alliance of New Jersey and Impact Teen Drivers inspire students to promote a culture of safety within their schools,” said Erica Rosso, NJM Consumer Safety Partnership and Program Supervisor. ”Year over year this contest amplifies the power of teen voices. Their collaborative work to raise awareness and end distracted driving gives us promise that safer roads are achievable.”
NJM announced the winners in special virtual showcases on Facebook and Instagram on April 26 and April 27, 2023. The news was also shared on TikTok. During the virtual presentation, participants viewed the winning NJ and PA submissions.
”We are so proud of the time and energy New Jersey high school students have devoted toward developing safe driving messaging,” said Wendy Berk, vice president at Brain Injury Alliance of New Jersey. “NJM consistently supports our Annual U Got Brains Champion Schools Program. We are grateful for their leadership and advocacy in teen driver safety and honored to once again collaborate on the “Just Drive” PSA Contest.”
“The creative approaches students take in developing safe driving messages reminds us that teens are one of our greatest ambassadors in engaging, educating, and empowering others,” said Kelly Browning, Ph.D., executive director of Impact Teen Drivers. “We’re delighted to broaden our relationship with NJM and continue to work together educating Pennsylvania teens on the importance of safe driving.”