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NEWS RELEASE

Bruce Gordon, Director of Communications
CONTACT:
Nick Carpenter  651-201-7569
nicholas.carpenter@state.mn.us
 
 
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 06, 2013
Voting Opens for Top Teen "Buckle Up and Pay Attention" TV PSA
2012 Contest Champ from St. Michael to Defend His Title Against Sartell, Stillwater Teens

ST. PAUL, Minn.  — Voters now have the opportunity to determine which of four videos created by local teens will be named the best of the 2013 Buckle Up and Pay Attention, Teens! TV Commercial Challenge. Voting for the top spot in the Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS)–AAA contest begins today and runs through May 19 at rockthebelt.org/buckleupteens/.  

The winning teen will be awarded $1,000 by AAA and see their spot debut during the MTV Video Music Awards this summer. AAA also will award second- and third-place winners with $600 and $400, respectively.

The finalists were selected among 45 teen entries.

The Finalists — Vote at rockthebelt.org/buckleupteens/ 

Note: Voters are urged to vote only once to encourage fair voting.

The voting period takes place during a season that has proven to be a dangerous time on the road for teens. There were 30 teen motor vehicle occupant deaths in April, May and June during the past three years (2010–2012). About 63 percent (19) of those killed were not buckled up, which is the highest percentage of unbelted teen deaths in a three-month span between 2010–2012.

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 and AAA urge 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 Minnesota Department Public Safety
The Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS) comprises 11 divisions where 2,100 employees operate programs in the areas of law enforcement, crime victim assistance, traffic safety, alcohol and gambling, emergency communications, fire safety, pipeline safety, driver licensing, vehicle registration and emergency management. DPS activity is anchored by three core principles: education, enforcement and prevention.

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 behaviors and reduce the deaths and serious injuries that occur on Minnesota roads. OTS also administers state funds for the motorcycle safety program and for the child seats for needy families program.

OTS is an anchoring partner of the state’s Toward Zero Deaths (TZD) traffic safety initiative. A primary vision of the TZD program is to create a safe driving culture in Minnesota in which motorists support a goal of zero road fatalities by practicing and promoting safe and smart driving behavior. TZD focuses on the application of four strategic areas to reduce crashes — education, enforcement, engineering and emergency trauma response.

Office of Traffic Safety Highlights

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445 Minnesota Street, Suite 100 | Saint Paul, Minnesota 55101-5155 | dps.mn.gov