High School Students Urge Motorists to ‘Drive Safe PA’

HARRISBURG – Radio listeners across Pennsylvania will hear safe driving advice from high school students this month in recognition of National Youth Traffic Safety Month.

PennDOT is releasing the 11 winning entries from its “Drive Safe PA” radio public service announcement contest, which focus on such behaviors as impaired driving, aggressive driving and buckling up.

“Through this contest, students gave their voices to the serious issue of highway safety,” said PennDOT Secretary Allen D. Biehler, P.E. “With the summer driving season right around the corner, this is a perfect time to urge motorists to practice safe driving behaviors. We ask for the cooperation of radio stations and other media outlets to find the winner closest to you and help spread these important messages of safety.”

The winners, which were based on PennDOT’s local engineering districts, were announced in March and professionally recorded their public service announcement. All of the winning entries can be heard on PennDOT’s Web site.

“While these student-developed public service announcements offer important advice to all drivers, they help underscore some important safety messages for young, novice drivers, who do not yet fully understand the complexities of driving,” Biehler said “Through the PSAs, these students have challenged their fellow peers to think about the consequences of unsafe driving behaviors, to think not just about their own lives, but the lives of others.”

Pennsylvania statistics from the past 10 years have shown that the majority of people killed in young driver crashes are individuals other than the young drivers themselves. From 1999 to 2008, there were nearly 4,100 fatalities resulting from crashes involving a 16- to 20-year-old driver. Of those fatalities, 66 percent were passengers, occupants of other vehicles, pedestrians, bicyclists and other road users and, of those, 81 percent were individuals ages 16-20.

PennDOT introduced its “Drive Safe PA” campaign earlier this year as a way to save lives on Pennsylvania highways by encouraging motorists to avoid life-threatening behaviors behind the wheel. For more information on Drive Safe PA, contact the PennDOT Press Office at RA-penndotpress@state.pa.us.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Following is a list of Drive Safe PA contest winners.

District 1 (Crawford, Erie, Forest, Mercer, Venango and Warren counties)
Mark Holcomb, Cameron Bish, Holly Bond, Robert Courtney, Mathew Johnson, Morgan Thompson – Conneaut Lake High School, Crawford County.

District 2 (Cameron, Centre, Clearfield, Clinton, Elk, McKean and Potter counties)
Matt Shadle – Galeton High School, Potter County.

District 3 (Bradford, Columbia, Lycoming, Montour, Northumberland, Snyder, Sullivan, Tioga and Union counties)
Michael S. Flood – Midd-West High School, Snyder County.

District 4 (Lackawanna, Luzerne, Pike, Susquehanna, Wayne and Wyoming counties)
Chris Cassel, James Coffman, Cassandra Correa, Allen Daniels, Joe Devita, Mark Dotter, James Frei, Steve Glatz, Dave Gumble, Nick Hengerle, Matthew Jenks, Samantha Kelly, Alec McKenna, Dillon Nesco, Steve Pranzo, Matt Ree, Chris Rhatigan, Victor Robertazza, Chris Rolan, Thomas Salkoskas, Chris Schneider, Brandon Weekes, Michael Zayatz – Wallenpaupack Area High School, Wayne County.

District 5 (Berks, Carbon, Lehigh, Monroe, Northampton and Schuylkill counties)
Jeff Beers – Palmerton Area High School, Carbon County.

District 6 (Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties)
Jamie Ellis – Archbishop Wood High School, Bucks County.

District 8 (Adams, Cumberland, Dauphin, Franklin, Lancaster, Lebanon, Perry and York counties)
Courtney Peterson, Madison McSherry, Emily Schaeffer, Natasha Stanley, Jen Mills – Central York High School, York County.

District 9 (Bedford, Blair, Cambria, Fulton, Huntingdon and Somerset counties)
Meghan McCabe – Bishop Carroll High School, Cambria County.

District 10 (Armstrong, Butler, Clarion, Indiana and Jefferson counties):
Dillen Statler – Elderton Junior/Senior High School, Armstrong County.

District 11 (Allegheny, Beaver and Lawrence counties)
Jessica Copper, Jessica Olson, Jay Copper, Sean Gwin – New Castle High School, Lawrence County.

District 12 (Fayette, Greene, Washington and Westmoreland counties)
Rebecca Coulson – Belle Vernon Area High School, Fayette County.

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