A lot has changed in the world over the last year, but not even a pandemic could deter TMA Bucks’ mission to help local teenagers stay safe – and alive – on the road.
The nonprofit once again invited area high schoolers to submit videos for its Teen Driver Safety Video PSA Challenge, powered by Comcast. Students from across the county produced 30-second films that touch on various aspects of driver safety, including seatbelts, texting, distracted driving and speeding.
Council Rock North, Pennbury, Villa Joseph Marie and William Tennent are among schools in the running to win a $500 cash grant and have their video played on Comcast networking. The winner will be announced on Friday, May 7, and selected by teen writers from the “reality” staff of the Bucks County Courier Times and The Intelligencer.
“We are thrilled to see seven schools submit such great videos despite a unique and challenging school year,” said TMA Bucks executive director Stephen Noll. “Each and every year, we are impressed by how these students work together, plan out and then execute such quality and impactful work. The potential impact these videos can have on getting other students to think twice about some of their decisions behind the wheel, or even as a passenger, is extremely impressive.”
All of the entries are eye-opening, and will surely make teens and adults alike reconsider a few driving habits.
Council Rock North’s video tells viewers how motor vehicle accidents are one of the leading causes of head trauma. Students utilized a watermelon to represent a human head. When buckled securely with a seatbelt, the watermelon remained on the seat, unharmed. Without the seatbelt, it crashed onto the floor. The slogan reads, “Be smart, protect your melon, buckle up.”
Pennsbury’s entry also focuses on the importance of seatbelts, and provides statistics and tips. According to the video, a child is involved in a car accident every 33 seconds, so it’s vital to ensure they’re wearing the seatbelt. A belt that covers the shoulder and lap is 25 percent more effective than lap belts alone. Additionally, slouching reduces the effectiveness of a seatbelt. This slogan reads, “Just a click is not enough. Practice proper seatbelt safety.”
Villa Joseph Marie took a different approach. Viewers see a student with a massive “daily hustle” to-do list, which includes a Dunkin’ run, work at 3:30 p.m., an English essay and, in bold, a reminder to not be late again. It’s hinted that, because she was rushing and thinking about all that needed to get done, the student was in an accident. Sirens are heard in the distance as the words, “Put the distractions aside, focus on the drive,” appear on the screen.
Two students from William Tennent crafted a fun yet informational PSA with a game of “Who Wants to be a Safe Driver?” One teen portrays the show host, asking the contestant questions such as, “What’s the first thing you should do when you get into a car? Put on your seatbelt or put your music on really loud?” The other teen responds, “Oh man, turn it up! Turn up the music!,” to which the host shouts, “Wrong!,” and proceeds to share safety advice. In the end, he gets so frustrated with the contestant’s lack of safe driving knowledge that he tosses his cue cards and storms away. The video ends with the message, “Life’s not a game. Be a safe driver.”
The Teen Driver Safety Video PSA Challenge is part of TMA Bucks’ High School Seatbelt Safety Challenge, which tasks students across the county with increasing seatbelt usage on their drives to and from school. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and most schools operating remotely for the majority of the academic year, this was unable to take place.
“Even if we can’t have the contest portion of the challenge, we have let our participating schools and teachers know that we will still provide the educational component to their students because teen driver safety needs to be a focus no matter what is going on in the world,” said David Walter, TMA Bucks deputy director and manager of the Seatbelt Safety Challenge. “Just like last spring, we will work closely with the schools using virtual presentations to provide educational resources to teachers and students to help make our teen drivers safer.”
Visit tmabucks.com/check-out-the-2021-teen-driver-safety-video-psa-challenge-entries/ for more information and to view all of the Teen Driver Safety Video PSA Challenge entries.
Samantha Bambino can be reached at email@example.com