By: Sharon Aron Baron
Know someone who is good with a video camera?
Broward county is looking for future film directors in Coral Springs and Parkland to enter a video contest to help reach young drivers and raise awareness about texting and driving.
The Broward County “Take 5 to Stay Alive – Don’t Text and Drive” awareness campaign, in conjunction with Broward County Public School’s BECON-TV and the School District’s Safety Department, is hosting the first Texting While Driving Awareness Video Competition, which is open to all high school students in Broward County. The videos will address the important safety issues of texting while driving.
Indy Lights Race car driver and Take 5 spokesperson Gabby Chaves stressed that it’s important to reach young drivers with this important message. “As young people who readily use social media gain the privilege to drive, it’s important that they do so with safe intentions. They need to know that the right thing to do is to put the phone down and be aware of their surroundings.”
The Take 5 to Stay Alive competition is a public education video campaign designed to bring awareness to this growing safety concern. Those who text while driving are 23 times more likely to be involved in some type of critical safety event as compared to those who don’t text while driving, according to data released by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration.
Florida became the 41st state to prohibit texting while driving when the state’s law went into effect October 1. As a secondary offense, however, drivers must be stopped for a separate alleged traffic violation before being ticketed for texting while driving.
The submission deadline for the videos to BECON-TV is Monday, March 31. To submit a video, see the contest fact sheet at Broward.org/Take5. The submitted videos will be judged during the first week in April by members from the Take 5 to Stay Alive – Don’t Text and Drive Awareness Committee.
The producers of the winning video will be notified in April 2014 and invited to participate in a “red carpet” screening of the winning videos along with the presentation of prizes and awards, at a local theater. This “red carpet” event will occur this spring. The video contest winners will be invited to participate on BECON-TV’s “Teentalk” program and will be recognized at meetings of both the Broward County School Board and Broward County Commission.
Additional information about the Broward County Regional EMS Council’s “Take 5 to Stay Alive – Don’t Text and Drive” Awareness Campaign can be found at Broward.org/Take5.