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Texting behind the wheel prevention given a big push in teen safety contest - Monday, April 28, 2014

April 25, 2014

For Immediate Press Release

Texting behind the wheel prevention given a big push in teen safety contest

South Central, LA – The South Central Safe Community Partnership (SCSCP) joined the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission (LHSC) in celebrating the 1st National Distracted Driving Enforcement Campaign, "U Drive. U Text. U Pay.” which was officially launched earlier this month.

The said campaign is in line with the SCSCP’s recently held teen safety photo and video contest, "Capturing Safety Through the Lens”, wherein texting behind the wheel prevention was given a huge push. Sponsored by State Farm, this contest allowed the students from high schools in the Bayou Region to become advocates of teen driver safety while molding their creative skills and out-of-the box thinking.

The SCSCP has lined up three separate awarding ceremonies at respective schools that won in the contest, which ran from November 1, 2013 to February 17, 2014. Majority of the four videos and six photo entries depicted about the dangers of distracted driving. Winners were determined by highway safety experts, namely: Betsey Tramonte from Federal Highway Administration, Elaine Rougeau from LHSC, and Trooper Evan Harrell from LA State Police Troop C. The contest was chaired by Floyd Benoit, spokesperson of Lafourche Parish School Board. Mr. Benoit is an active member of the SCSCP coalition.

"The bottom line of this effort is to encourage our students to drive responsibly and safely while they harness their creative skills. We hope for them to advocate for traffic safety and practice responsible driving decisions themselves,” said Benoit.

Awarding ceremonies

The first awarding ceremony was done today at Assumption High School (AHS) in Napoleonville. The school’s Student Council members Cade Blanchard, Claire Theriot and Claire Domingue produced the Grand-winning video which may be viewed here:

AHS Student club adviser Artie Orgeron expressed how proud she was about their students bagging the grand prize. Principal Niles Riche also commented, "They enjoyed and learned from the experience.”

The next sets of awarding are scheduled next week. Thibodaux High School will be awarded on Tuesday, April 29th at 11:00 AM. Their Student Council members Kalin Larousse, Peyton Chiasson, Jamie Granier, Bryce Messer and Klint Landry won 1st Runner Up in photo category and "People’s Choice” in video category.

On Wednesday, April 30th, H.L. Bourgeois High School Yearbook Club will be awarded at 10 AM, followed by Central Lafourche High School Student Council at 11:30 AM.

H.L. Bourgeois’ Yearbook Club members Miranda Bergeron, Kassidi Blanchard and Katherine Dean submitted a photo that emerged as Grand Winner, which was also adjudged as the "People’s Choice” Award. First-runner up was earned by Central Lafourche High School Student Council members Patrick Zeringue, Taylor Kimball, Kylie Foret, Josie Whitlock and Hailey Hodson.

The SCSCP also picked the "People’s Choice” Awardees for both categories as judged by all coalition members during the February 20th Judging Day. Award recipients are. The Grand Winner in Photo category was also picked as People’s Choice.

In 2012, there were 3,328 people killed and 421,000 injured nationwide in distraction-affected crashes. The University of Michigan’s Transportation Research Institute reports that a quarter of teens respond to a text message once or more every time they drive, and 20 percent of teens and 10 percent of parents admit that they have extended, multi-message text conversations while driving.

The national U Text. U Drive. U Pay enforcement blitz is also supported by an $8.5 million national advertising campaign, designed to raise awareness about the enforcement effort and remind people about the deadly consequences of driving and texting. For more information, please visit


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