Today Ingraham High School Students launched the “$248 Challenge” challenging local high school students to design a billboard or create a video demonstrating the dangers of texting while walking or driving. The goal is to reduce the number of collisions involving young people who are distracted while texting.
Three prizes will be awarded — one for the best billboard design, one for the best video, and one for the “People’s Choice.” The winning billboard will be featured on a sign along Aurora Avenue this spring. The billboard or video entry that receives the most votes on the contest’s Facebook page, www.facebook.com/248Challenge, will win the “People’s Choice” prize.
State Farm donated the three prizes of $248 each (twice the fine for texting while driving).
Washington State Troopers and Seattle Police Officers joined the students today at Ingraham High School to launch the contest, performing a skit involving the arrest of a young person who is texting while in traffic. The event featured a car driven by a Thurston County nineteen-year-old who was killed last year while texting. (See videos about Heather Lerch’s crash on youtube.com. The short version is at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jfe9SqxFOts and longer version is at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XT0k–HnHrM ).
One in four teens admits to texting while driving, and drivers under twenty experience the highest distracted-driving fatality rate, with the 20-29 year group ranking second, according the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
The “$248 Challenge” is part of the Aurora Traffic Safety Project, a partnership between city and state agencies to reduce collisions on Aurora Avenue North. Nearly 50 percent of all collisions on Aurora are caused by driver inattention.
For more information: Jim Curtin, (206) 684-8874
Media contact: Marybeth Turner, (206) 684-8548