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Winners named in teen-safety video contest

Tue, 01 Sep 2009

Sometimes, the best way to get a teen's attention is to let another teen do the talking. Especially when it involves a subject such as driver safety, which many teens tend to tune out as just another lecture from parents.

Tire maker Bridgestone Americas adopted the teens-talking-to-teens philosophy in 2006 with its Safety Scholars video contest. It has named the top winners for this year's contest, culled from 800 entries. More than 12,000 votes were cast on the Internet for the top 10 finalists to determine the winners.

Eric Dachman, 18, of Scottsdale, Ariz., was given first prize in this year's contest. His video warns of the dangers of sending text messages while driving. The video shows the windshield of a moving car becoming covered with texts as the driver sends messages, blocking the view. It ends with the message: “Use a designated texter.”

Second place was awarded to Juliana Hinojosa, 19, from San Antonio. Her video revolves around the death of her 22-year-old brother Ryan, who was killed in a crash involving a drunken driver. The video shows family members and friends who were impacted by Ryan's death. Watch her video at

Third place went to Christopher Baugh, 18, of Glen Allen, Va. His humorous piece resembles a hip-hop music video but with a focus on safety tips. Watch his video at

The top three winners each get a $5,000 college scholarship and a set of tires. The rest of the top 10 each won a set of tires.

The videos will be used as public-service annoucements throughout the year.

You can see all of the top 10 videos at

By Dale Jewett