South Central, Louisiana – In commemoration of the National Teen Driver Safety Week, the South Central Safe Community Partnership (SCSCP) is launching its first-ever teen safety driving photo and video contest, “Capturing Safety Through The Lens”, on October 23, 2013 at 10 AM at the Central Lafourche High School, 4820 Highway 1, Raceland, LA 70394. See Kickoff Program here.
The nationwide statistics of teenage drivers being involved in three times as many fatal crashes as all other drivers is stunning.
To help reduce the stat and increase public awareness, the member agencies of the Houma-based traffic safety coalition SCSCP are teaming up with the Lafourche Parish School Board (LPSB) and State Farm to embark on this creative approach of educating the teens and getting them more involved in promoting traffic safety. High School clubs and student councils from the Parishes of Assumption, Lafourche and Terrebonne are all invited to submit their entries.
This photo and video contest sparked from the SCSCP’s South Central Regional Transportation Safety Plan’s (SCRTSP) vision of reaching Destination Zero Deaths. It was identified as one of the 54 programs in the SCRTSP that would help in reducing roadway crashes. “We hope to encourage teen drivers to become the voice of traffic safety in their respective communities,” expresses Houma Police Lieutenant Bobbie O’Bryan, who is SCRTSP Young Drivers Emphasis Area Team Leader.
His co-team leader Trooper Evan Harrell, the Public Info Officer of LA State Police Troop C, adds, “We really hope that the school principals, teachers and parents will be in support of their teens to participate. Educating the youth is vital.”
The contest, which will kick off on October 23, 2013 at 10:00 AM in Central Lafourche High School Auditorium, just in time for the National Teen Driver Safety Week. Submission will open on November 1, 2013 and closes on January 30, 2014. Judging will be done on February 7, 2014 and winners will be announced on February 20, 2014.
“The bottom line of this effort is to encourage our students to drive responsibly and safely while harnessing their talents to be creative, resourceful and innovative. We hope for them to advocate for traffic safety and practice responsible driving decisions themselves,” says Lafourche School Board spokesman and contest chairman Floyd Benoit.
“We hope to bring in a lot of interest from all the private and public high schools in the Bayou Region. It is also vital that the parents and teachers themselves are involved as well,” adds Mr. Benoit, who himself has been an active member of the SCSCP coalition.
The SCSCP informs that any high school club in the Parishes of Assumption, Lafourche and Terrebonne can submit one video or photo entry, or both. An entry form must be filled out and submitted along with a letter of endorsement signed by the club adviser and school principal. It should address one or a combination of traffic safety focused areas as: Driving Under the Influence (DUI) of alcohol and/or drug; occupant protection or the use of seat belts; and texting behind the wheel or any form of distracted driving. If any member of the participating club is below 18 years old, he or she should submit a Parental Consent & Media Release Waiver, signed by a Parent/Guardian.
“Most importantly, participants must not violate any Louisiana Traffic Safety Laws when filming their materials,” Trooper Harrell further advises.
Posters and flyers will be distributed to all high schools, so students are encouraged to check out their school bulletin posts and announcements. Prizes for grand winners (one for each category) will include a cash prize of $250 plus trophy, TV exposure and goody bag. The runners-up will get a trophy and goody bag full of commodities imprinted with safety messages. All submissions will receive recognition. Additionally, winners will be acknowledged at the upcoming 2014 Louisiana Traffic Safety Summit on March 19-20, 2014 in Baton Rouge. Entries will be rated based on originality, creativity and overall message.
This event is part of the SCSCP’s young driver safety initiatives sponsored by State Farm and supported by LA Department of Transportation & Development (LADOTD) and LA Highway Safety Commission (LHSC) in an effort to reach Destination Zero Deaths. Staffed by South Central Planning & Development Commission in Houma, the SCSCP is a coalition of highway safety partners from multiple disciplines such as law enforcement, education, health, business and non-profit groups that work collaboratively to promote traffic safety across the South Central Region—Bayou and River Parishes of LA.
Contest entries may be saved in USB flash drives and submitted by either hand delivery or mail to SCPDC, 5058 West Main Street, Houma LA 70360 /PO Box 1870, Gray LA 70359. You may find the South Central Safe Community Partnership on Facebook. Fore more info, you may call (985) 851-2900 or email Rudynah@scpdc.org.