ST. PAUL — A St. Michael teen’s “buckle up” public service announcement was crowned the winner of the 2012 Buckle Up, Teens! TV Commercial Challenge. The contest is coordinated by the Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS) Office of Traffic Safety and is sponsored by AAA Minnesota/Iowa.
Eli Guillou, representing St. Michael Albertville High School, will receive $1,000 from AAA Minnesota/Iowa. DPS will air the winning PSA statewide during the MTV Video Music Awards this summer. View the winning spot and the two other finalists at rockthebelt.org.
Guillou’s PSA received 5,133 (80 percent) of the total 6,387 votes during the voting period that started May 10.
The conclusion of the contest is timed with enhanced statewide Click It or Ticket seat belt patrols through June 3. In the last three years in Minnesota, there have been 377 unbelted deaths on Minnesota roads and 179 (48 percent) of the victims were ages 30 and younger.
AAA Minnesota/Iowa also will award second- and third-place winners with $600 and $400, respectively.
Traffic crashes are the leading cause of death for teens in Minnesota due to driver inexperience, risk-taking behavior, distractions, nighttime driving, speeding and seat belt non-use.
DPS urges parents to talk to their teens about the life-saving importance of seat belts, and the dangers and consequences of speeding, distracted driving and alcohol use.
Parents are encouraged to continue to provide supervised experience for their teen driver in a variety of conditions and road types and use a parent-teen driver contract
to establish road rules, and follow through with consequences.
About the Office of Traffic Safety
The Minnesota Department of Public Safety Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) designs, implements and coordinates federally funded traffic safety enforcement and education programs to improve driver behavior and reduce deaths and serious injuries on Minnesota roads. OTS also administers state funds for the motorcycle safety program and for child seats for needy families program. OTS is an anchoring partner of the state’s Toward Zero Deaths traffic safety initiative.
Recent OTS Activity
OTS launched a statewide Click It or Ticket seat belt enforcement effort, running through June 3 featuring a dramatic TV spot and digital billboards comparing crashing unbelted at 60 mph to falling from 12 stories high.
Preliminary results from a statewide distracted driving enforcement effort April 19 resulted in 97 texting while driving citations and more than 2,400 vehicle stops.
OTS released a study conducted by the University of Minnesota that found the primary seat belt law has resulted in 68 fewer deaths since the law was enacted nearly three years ago.
OTS is coordinating a pilot program for parent-teen driver awareness courses, to educate parents about their responsibilities to train and monitor their new teen driver.