NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Aug. 16, 2013) — Three video-savvy college students are the top-prize winners in this year's Bridgestone Americas' Teens Drive Smart Video Contest.
'Teens Drive Smart' winners bring passion to task
Nashville-based Bridgestone announced that after sifting through almost 2,000 submissions, videos by Nicole Ricketts, Tosh Chambers and Natalie Barrios were the top winners.
"After seven years of holding this contest, I'm encouraged that we continue to receive such creative videos from passionate young adults who take an interest in making our roads safer," said Angela Patterson, manager, Teens Drive Smart Program.
She said that the company's goal is to "help teens make the right choice behind the wheel" but that message can be conveyed "much more effectively when it comes from a peer."
Ms. Ricketts, a junior at Hope International University in Fullerton, Calif., received the top prize — a $25,000 college scholarship — for her video, "Driving is Beautiful," which Bridgestone said aims to show the blessings, the beauty, the adventure and the fun that teen driving can be, while emphasizing the responsibility drivers have to preserve that beauty.
Mr. Chambers, a University of Pittsburgh sophomore, won second place and a $15,000 scholarship for his video, "Technically Almost Legal," which shows multiple distractions in the car that should be avoided for safety purposes — even though most of them aren't illegal.
Third place winner Ms. Barrios, a student at Florida Gulf Coast University, won a $10,000 scholarship for her video, "Safe Driver," that is a spoof on infomercials, advertising the ultimate safe driving companion.
Martha Levytsky of Bronxville, N.Y., was given a Critics' Choice award and a $2,500 cash prize for the video she produced, "Times Not to Text," which gives a comedic look at the absurdity of texting while driving.
Bridgestone said this year's winning videos competed with more than 1,800 submissions from 16-21 year olds across the U.S. The three winning videos, along with the other top 10 finalists, can all be viewed at the Teens Drive Smart website.
Winners also receive a free set of Bridgestone-brand tires, the tire manufacturer said, and the three top winners have the chance to have their videos broadcast as a public service announcement on television stations across the U.S.
Carrying the safe-driving theme further, Bridgestone also offers a free, half-day Teens Drive Smart Driving Experience at venues across the country. The workshop is a hands-on training session to teach new drivers the skills needed to better handle accident avoidance situations and eliminate distracted driving behaviors, Bridgestone said.
Each session includes classroom instruction that reinforces smart decision making on the road, as well as hands-on driving exercises— staged on a safe, closed course — that show the dangers of multitasking behind the wheel as well as ways to respond in less-than-ideal driving situations.
All sessions are led by highly trained driving instructors with motorsports backgrounds and test track experience, who fully understand vehicle dynamics and a full range of safe driving techniques.
The instructors are able to show life-saving driving concepts, allow the attendees to have hands-on experience, and offer constructive feedback — all in a safe, supervised environ
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