As part of Global Youth Traffic Safety Month, the US 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 recognized as the grand prize winner for her video.
"Distracted driving is a national epidemic, and our youngest drivers are particularly at risk," said US 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.
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.
"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," he added. "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."