TOT Burlington High School

Turn Off Texting at Burlington High School!

The students of Burlington High School got to learn the dangers of driving distracted first hand today!

TOT in Williston

Turn Off Texting on July 2: West Rutland and Williston!

The students of West Rutland High School and Associates in Driving in Williston experienced the Turn Off Texting demonstration today! Photos: Above, Williston; below, West Rutland.

TOT in West Rutland

Photos from the AAA Walk to End Distracted Driving, June 7

AAA Walk for Distracted Driving

AAA Northern New England in conjunction with the Vermont Highway Safety Alliance and Project RoadSafe hosted the “AAA Walk to End Distracted Driving” at the Vermont State House on Friday, June 7. Thank you Aimee Ziter and Debra Ricker for the photos!

AAA Walk for Distracted Driving, Speaker at podium.

Local Motion & Ski Rack Create Safety Videos for Bicyclists

Local Motion and Ski Rack teamed up to create safety videos for bicyclists, and they help remind everyone that road users include vulnerable users on bikes, and the special concerns they have. Visit the page of videos, and see below for the episode about safely interacting with public busses.

 

 

TOT at Essex High School

Turn Off Texting at Essex High School: Safety Week!

The students of Essex High School experienced Turn Off Texting with Driver Educator Barbara Brody yesterday, during a week dedicated to highway safety education.

  

Thank You, Caledonian Record!

The Caledonian Record helped show Turn Off Texting in action to the Lyndonville community. The Youth Safety Council of Vermont sends thanks!

Stowe High School TOT

Turn Off Texting at Stowe High School

We’re sending special thanks out to the Stowe Reporter for sharing word of the Turn Off Texting program! The Youth Safety Council visited Driver Educator Darren McIntyre and his students at Stowe High School on May 6.

Award Winners with the Governor

Young Videographers Awarded at Vermont State House

The Vermont Highway Safety Alliance sponsored the second annual contest #802phonesdown!headup! video contest for high school students. Students from across Vermont were honored for their work producing video public service messages on distracted driving to engage their peers and compel young drivers to put down their phones while driving. Two thousand dollars in prizes were awarded to four teams of students. The VHSA aims to promote the wining videos on social media and other media outlets throughout the year.

The contest was supported with generous donations from: AAA Northern New England, Co-Operative Insurance Companies, Consultant on Police Services, Midstate Dodge, Youth Safety Council of Vermont, and Yankee Driving School.

Gov. Phil Scott joined the Vermont Highway Safety Alliance to present awards Friday May 10th 2019 at the Statehouse in the Cedar Creek Room. Well over sixty people were in attendance Including families of the participants, law enforcement, and stakeholders from the VHSA. Honorable Mentions were given to Ian Goldberg from Woodstock High School, Michelle Townsend from Windsor High School and Gregory Torbert from Northwest Technical Center. Cash awards were given to four top entries:

First Place Award
$750
Lawton Jones
Green Mountain Valley School

Second Place Award
$500
Cole Klimoski & Liam Swan
Essex High School

Third Place Award
$250
Emily Gammell &
Emma Neuman
Hanover High School

People’s Choice Award $500
Kaylee Green
Northwest Technical Center

 

Teen Filmmaker Focuses on Distracted Driving

 Here’s a guest commentary by Owen Smith, who is the president of AT&T Vermont.

When Burlington High School student Maia Vota traveled to the Tribeca Film Festival last week, she brought an important message to New York City’s red carpet: It Can Wait.

Maia’s documentary-style short film about the dangers of distracted driving earned her a 2019 AT&T Youth Filmmaker Award, and as part of her prize she attended Tribeca where she got behind-the-scenes access to Tribeca filmmakers while working with AT&T and nonprofit Fresh Films to develop her filmmaking skills. But more important than the glitz and glamour is the message that Maia and her film are helping to spread.

Called “A Realistic Look at Distracted Driving,” the film is a four and a half minute look at students’ attitudes and habits related to using devices behind the wheel. The film is powerful because it is realistic and universal – she could have filmed at any high school from Montpelier to Montana and odds are, she would have heard similar anecdotes. Many students admit that they are frequently tempted to use their phones while driving.

Maia depicts a microcosm of the widespread and ever-evolving problem of distracted driving.

In 2009, when AT&T began its longstanding It Can Wait program, the focus was on raising awareness of texting and driving. Over the past 10 years, the It Can Wait program has worked with local community and public safety leaders to host school assemblies and public events, utilizing resources such as virtual reality and inspiring more 36 million pledges – and counting – to not drive distracted. But also, over the past 10 years, the It Can Wait program has expanded from a focus on just texting and driving to include our constantly changing world of technology.

This year, AT&T conducted new research to show how the issue has progressed. The research showed that seven in 10 drivers say their smartphones have become essential for getting around. And use of immersive content, such as video chatting and watching videos, while behind the wheel has nearly doubled since 2015.

One of the students in Maia’s film talks about device distractions other than texting, like posting on social media and searching for music. The anecdote emphasizes how the distracted driving problem continues to evolve. In fact, the recent research showed 86% of car-share drivers use their smartphones while driving; and four in 10 e-scooter or e-bike riders admit to riding distracted. It doesn’t matter how we get around; we’re doing it distracted.

April was National Distracted Driving Awareness month and there is no better time to pledge to never drive distracted. Vermont’s public safety community has been a valuable and outspoken leader in this fight. Earlier in April, AT&T was proud to stand in Shelburne with the Vermont State Police, sheriff’s departments and several local law enforcement agencies to drive home this message.

We encourage you to remind friends and loved ones to put their phones down while they’re behind the wheel. Visit www.itcanwait.com to take the pledge to never drive distracted. Or head over to YouTube and check out and share Maia’s award-winning film.

A Burlington High School student used her voice as a filmmaker to spread an important message, and we should all follow her lead. That message is simple: no text, photo, email or social media post is worth a life.

And as Maia concludes in her film, “we should be doing better than this.”

Ken Millman presented with award.

YSCVT Board Member Ken Millman Receives VHSA Marketing Award

Youth Safety Council Board Member Ken Millman of Sp!ke Advertising was presented with the Vermont Highway Safety Alliance Media & Marketing Award by VHSA Vice Chair Mitchell Jay of the Vermont Vehicle and Automotive Distributors Association. The ceremony last Friday, May 10, was held in the Cedar Creek Room of the Vermont State House in Montpelier. Congratulations, Ken! And thank you for the photos, Nicholas Cartularo, Digital Outreach Coordinator at the Vermont Agency of Transportation!

Ken Millman and James Lockridge

Ken Millman and YSCVT Executive Director James Lockridge.