For teenagers everywhere, learning to drive and getting a driver’s license is an exciting rite of passage. It’s also an enormous responsibility, and it’s important for teens to understand the consequences of dangerous driving — especially when alcohol and other substances are involved.
In 2000, Middlesex County, New Jersey launched its very first Don’t Drink and Drive PSA Contest under the guidance of Freeholder H. James Polos. The program was aimed to raise awareness about the dangers of driving while intoxicated during prom and graduation season. Since then, the “3D” PSA Contest has been expanded to include all forms of distracted driving and driving under the influence of substances.
Now known as the Don’t Drive Dangerously PSA Contest, this program is open to all teens enrolled in a public or non-public Middlesex County high school. Contestants are asked to create an original 30-second audio or 60-second video campaign highlighting the negative consequences of driving dangerously. Contestants are asked to use their talent and creativity to speak to their peers directly and encourage them to make healthy decisions on the road, including resisting peer pressure to drive while impaired or distracted.
2021 Don’t Drive Dangerously PSA Contest winners
Wellspring Center for Prevention co-sponsored this year’s contest, along with the Middlesex County Board of Commissioners, the Middlesex County Superintendent of Schools, NJ Division of Highway Traffic Safety, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, and MADD-NJ. We are proud to support this initiative.
A total of 18 videos and six audio recordings were submitted by students and groups of students from 13 county high schools to promote driving safety to their friends and classmates. Each submission was judged on the following criteria:
- Sound quality
- Strength of message.
The 2021 winners were announced in a virtual awards ceremony on June 9, 2021:
- First place: Chloe Cassidy, Stephanie Fetzer, Elizabeth Renavitz, Caitlyn Carlson and Na’kai Stembridge (Dunellen High School)
- Second place: Merari Rodriguez, Ayanna Moore, Aylene Gomez and Bryan Cervantes (New Brunswick High School)
- Third place: Isha Patel, Sharon Wei and Srisai Varanasi (John P. Stevens High School)
- First place: Soham Shashikumar, Yash Dixit, Shiven Sakunala and Rohan Vivek (Middlesex County Academy for Allied Health and Biomedical Sciences)
- Second place: Shannen Woo and Hayden Woo (Monroe Township High School)
- Third place: Nicholas Moccio and Tianna Strachan (North Brunswick Township High School)
Congratulations to this year’s Don’t Drive Dangerously PSA Contest winners!