U.S. DOT, Mazda Motorsports, the Ad Council, and NOYS Announce Winners of 2013
Project Yellow Light Video Contest
Anti-Distracted Driving PSAs distributed during Global Youth Traffic Safety
WASHINGTON, May 2, 2013
WASHINGTON, May 2, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- As part of Global Youth Traffic Safety
Month™, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), Mazda Motorsports, the Ad
Council and the National Organizations for Youth Safety (NOYS) announced the
six high school and college winners of their second annual Project Yellow
Light scholarship contest. "One Text or Call Could Wreck It All," was the
theme of this year's contest. Entrants were asked to develop and produce a
short video that would depict for their peers the dangers of risky mobile
behavior on our Nation's roadways. The high school grand prize was awarded to
Brittany Devasure, a senior from North Carolina, for her video. For the first
time, the contest was open to college students. Rachel Hall, who studies at
the Cleveland Institute of Music, was recognizedas the grand prize winner
for her video.
To view the multimedia assets associated with this release, please click:
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in
2011, eleven percent of all drivers 15-19 years old involved in fatal crashes
were reported as distracted at the time of the crashes. This age group has the
largest proportion of drivers who were distracted.
"Distracted driving is a national epidemic, and our youngest drivers are
particularly at risk," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. "We know
that young drivers listen to their friends, which makes the Project Yellow
Light ads so powerful. Today's scholarship winners have helped raise
awareness of the dangers of texting while driving, and are potentially saving
the lives of other teen drivers as well."
Second place prizes were awarded to high school senior Sophie Koorhan of
Pennsylvania and Katherine Duffy, a student at the University of Southern
California. Third place prizes were given to high school senior Joanne Ly of
California and Rahul Sharma, a college student at New York University.
"Peer to peer messages have a powerful impact on young people," said NHTSA
Administrator David Strickland. "Thanks to the help of Project Yellow Light
and the Ad Council, teens are reaching teens directly to emphasize the
importance of keeping their eyes on the road, their hands on the wheel, and
their focus on driving at all times."
All of the winners will receive college scholarships and One-Day Teen Survival
Skills Classes at the Skip Barber Racing School, provided by Mazda
Motorsports. Additionally, the first place winners' videos will be digitally
distributed to air as PSAs by the Ad Council to their network of more than
1,500 TV stations nationwide.
"As racers we know about driver safety and take the subject very seriously.
With our extensive team of teenage race drivers, and our longstanding
partnership with the Skip Barber Racing School, active support of Project
Yellow Light was a natural fit for Mazda Motorsports. It was great to have
Ben Albano, Kenton Koch, and Elliott Skeer, three of our young racers,
participate in the judging process. Everyone at Mazda was impressed with both
the quality and quantity of entries this year, and we were happy that our
support allowed the Project Yellow Light team to add a category for college
students," said John Doonan, Director, Mazda Motorsports, Mazda North American
Established in 2007, Project Yellow Light is a video contest and scholarship
program established by Julie Garner, of The Martin Agency, in memory of her
teenage son Hunter Garner who was killed in a car crash that year. Project
Yellow Light was developed to encourage teens to be safe when first taking on
"Young people have the ability to reach each other in a unique voice that
connects and resonates – and the more they continue to spread the word on safe
driving habits; and the more we give them 'ownership' of trying find a
solution to the problem; they will find a solution," said Julie Garner.
This year's contest ran from November 2012 through March 2013 and received
nearly 500 submissions.
"Today we congratulate all of the young adults who submitted videos to empower
their peers to put down their phones while driving," said Peggy Conlon,
president and CEO of the Ad Council. "With DOT leading the way, and the many
partners involved with Project Yellow Light, we can work together to keep our
nation's youth safe on our roads and highways throughout the U.S."
"Empowering youth to develop messages that will reach their peers through
projects like Project Yellow Light provides them opportunities to learn about
current youth issues and engages them to be part of the solution," said Sandy
Spavone of NOYS. "The quality of the messages developed by youth and their
work to prevent distracted driving is inspirational; together they lead their
generation to put the phone down when driving."
To view all the winning videos, click here.
For more than four decades, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
(NHTSA) has served as the key federal agency charged with improving safety on
our nation's roadways. As part of the U.S. Department of Transportation, NHTSA
is working to reduce traffic-related deaths and injuries by promoting the use
of safety belts and child safety seats; helping states and local communities
address the threat of drunk drivers; educating road users about the risks
associated with distracted driving; regulating safety standards and
investigating safety defects in motor vehicles; establishing and enforcing
fuel economy standards; conducting research on driver behavior and traffic
safety; and providing consumer information on issues ranging from child
passenger safety to impaired driving. For more information, visit
Mazda is the number-one brand for road-racers across North America.Thousands
of Mazda powered grassroots racers compete in various classes with the SCCA
and NASA highlighted by Spec Miata, the world's largest spec class with over
2,500 cars built.In 2006 Mazda established theMAZDASPEEDMotorsports
Development Ladder to assist racers in moving up through the ranks. In 2010
this was expanded to include the Mazda Road to Indy.Key to Mazda's success is
strategic partnerships with the Skip Barber Racing School and Mazda Raceway
Mazda Motorsports is managed by Mazda North American Operations (MNAO). MNAO
is headquartered in Irvine, Calif., and oversees the sales, marketing, parts
and customer service support of Mazda vehicles in the United States and Mexico
through nearly 700 dealers. Operations in Mexico are managed by Mazda Motor
de Mexico in Mexico City.
Project Yellow Light
Project Yellow Light is a film competition for high school seniors and college
students designed to create compelling video stories that will convince their
peers to develop safe driving habits. The project was created by Julie,
Lowell and Alex Garner in memory of their son/brother, Hunter who died
tragically in a car crash in 2007. Each year the winner of the film
competition receives The Hunter Garner Scholarship. Project Yellow
Light/Hunter Garner Scholarship is a non-profit organization that began in
Hunter's school, Riverbend High in Fredericksburg, VA, with aspirations to
inspire and motivate youth all over America. The program is designed to give
young adults a voice and a role in reversing the number of car crashes — the
number one killer of teenagers and young adults in the U.S.
National Organizations for Youth Safety™ (NOYS) is a coalition of national
organizations, business and industry leaders, and federal agencies who serve
youth and focus on youth safety and health. Through this coalition, NOYS
influences more than 80 million young people and their adult advisors. The
mission of NOYS is to promote youth empowerment and leadership, and build
partnerships that save lives, prevent injuries, and enhance safe and healthy
lifestyles among all youth.
The Advertising Council
The Ad Council (www.adcouncil.org) is a private, non-profit organization that
marshals talent from the advertising and communications industries, the
facilities of the media, and the resources of the business and non-profit
communities to produce, distribute and promote public service campaigns on
behalf of non-profit organizations and government agencies. The Ad Council
addresses issue areas such as improving the quality of life for children,
preventive health, education, community well-being, environmental preservation
and strengthening families.
SOURCE The Ad Council
Contact: Karen Aldana, NHTSA, 202-366-9550, firstname.lastname@example.org; Dean Case,
Mazda Motorsports, 310-318-4582, Mazdaspeed@mazdausa.com; Julie Garner, The
Martin Agency, 804-698-8203, email@example.com; Sandy Spavone,
NOYS, 828-FOR-NOYS, firstname.lastname@example.org; Lisa Cullen, Ad Council, 202-331-5052,
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