Car crashes are the No. 1 killer of American teens, claiming more than 5,000 young lives annually. Teens from Massapequa High School are working to reduce that number and increase safety on our local roads.
In support of National Youth Traffic Safety Month in May, National Organizations for Youth Safety (NOYS) and The Allstate Foundation are hosting a national competition entitled "Act Out Loud: Raising Voices for Safe Teen Driving."
Out of 64 applications from across the country, a group of Massapequa High School teens were selected as finalists to compete in the 2nd annual contest.
Massapequa High School is among 20 high school teams selected by their peers and traffic safety leaders to participate in the contest. The goal of the contest is to raise the awareness for safe teen driving and help save lives. In December 2008, NOYS put out a call to teens across the country to submit project proposals for the contest. Judges selected the top 20 teams based on originality, level of involvement and communication of key safe driving messages and themes. The Top 20 teams are showcased at www.ActOutLoud.org.
Each team received $1,000 and a video camera from The Allstate Foundation to implement and document their progress via blog, photos and video over the next two months. On May 8, the teams will submit their final video and blog, then the public will vote online at www.ActOutLoud.org for their favorite teams from May 11-22 to determine the top three winners.
The Massapequa High School teens will create a Web site that they hope will inspire a tradition in their school among the 9-12 graders to help their peers make good life-saving decisions. The site will have teen-created movies on seatbelts, blood alcohol level information, poetry, research on graduated licensing, community and school interviews, public service announcements, community surveys, press releases, banner and posters. From now until May 8, the teens will document their progress online through blog, photo and video postings at www.ActOutLoud.org.
"The Allstate Foundation is committed to harnessing the positive power of peer influence to change the way teens think and act in the car," said Vicky Dinges, assistant vice president for public social responsibility at Allstate. "By empowering teens to become smart driving activists in their schools and communities, we hope to reverse the staggering statistics." More than 5,000 young people die in car crashes each year and nearly 300,000 more are injured.
The public is invited to vote for their favorite projects from May 11-22 at www.ActOutLoud.org. The top three teams, based on total online votes, will be announced on May 27. Teams will receive cash awards to further support safe teen driving education efforts in their community. First place will receive $10,000, second place $5,000 and third place $3,000. A $5,000 grant also will be awarded to the non-profit national youth organization designated by the first place winning team.