Texting while driving is an epidemic. More than 100,000 crashes a year involve drivers who are texting, often causing life-changing injuries and deaths. Texting drivers are 23 times more likely to be in an accident. Despite it being against the law and knowing the risks of texting while driving, 43 percent of teens admit to texting while driving. However, there is an opportunity to change this behavior. Ninety percent of teen drivers say they would stop if a friend in the car asked them and 78 percent say they are likely not to text and drive if friends tell them it is wrong.
SCPA is working with AT&T to sponsor and challenge S.C. high school students to write an essay or produce a video highlighting the dangers of texting while driving, which encourages their peers to take the It Can Wait pledge.
SCPA would like member newspapers to work with us in this important project. Here is how it would work:
Newspapers will promote the contest to readers, which will start Sept. 8, 2014.
Below you'll find the writing and video contest rules, a promo ad and other items to help promote the contest.
In addition to promoting the contest in your paper, we encourage you to contact your local high school English teachers and school newspaper and convergence media advisors to promote this opportunity.
Newspapers will accept local students' writing contest entries. Your local contest will close by Oct. 13. You will pick someone on your staff to judge the entries, or pick a panel or judges from your community. Your winning entry will then be sent to SCPA no later than Oct. 23. You are encouraged to print your local winner’s essay. If you choose, you can give a prize to your local winner, but this is not required.
SCPA will select the statewide winners by Nov. 7. The statewide essay winner will receive $500 prize.
Video contest entries will be submitted directly to SCPA and the winner of that contest will receive $250 prize.
The winners will be honored either in Columbia or his or her local community with a luncheon presentation.
Click here for more information.