Laurens Central School wins $15,000 for distracted driving video

By NEWSChannel 2 Staff

LAURENS, N.Y. - NYCM Insurance awarded Laurens Central School in Laurens on Tuesday with $15,000 for a video that a student at the school produced warning teens about the dangers of distracted driving.

The entry was one of three winners selected from among 48 entries submitted by ninth through twelfth graders who attend public schools throughout the state.

"Many people still don't realize how dangerous distracted driving is, or they may know the risks, but they think the statistics don't apply to them," said Tom McDaniel, marketing event director at NYCM Insurance. "Our goal for the video contest was for teens to educate themselves and others about the dangers of distracted driving to bring about real change."

According to a study by the Pew Research Center, 48 percent of all teens between 12 and 17 say they have ridden in a car while the driver was texting. In addition to texting, dangerous driving distractions also include making calls on a cell phone, eating, drinking, grooming, setting a GPS, surfing the Web, selecting music or playing with the stereo. Eleven percent of all drivers under 20 who were involved in fatal crashes were reported to be distracted at the time of the accident.

The video entries were judged by a panel that included parents of teenagers. General Douglas MacArthur High School in Levittown, N.Y., and Indian River Central High School in Philadelphia, N.Y., also were named contest winners.

The top 15 videos are now eligible for the People's Choice Award. NYCM will give $500 to the student who produced the video that receives the most "likes" on the company's Facebook page.

The video can be viewed online at: under "Laurens Central School"

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