Canon-McMillan High School Students Win Fifth Annual “Just Drive” PSA Contest

Pictured: Mr. Maisner and his Advanced Digital Media class with the check.
Posted On: Thursday, May 25, 2023

(Pictured: Mr. Maisner and his Advanced Digital Media class with the check.)

Annual contest recognizes the importance of Distracted Driving Awareness Month

NJM Insurance Group, in partnership with the Pennsylvania DUI Association (PA DUI) and the Brain Injury Alliance of New Jersey (BIANJ), is awarding a total of $60,000 to the winning New Jersey and Pennsylvania high schools of the fifth annual "Just Drive" public service announcement (PSA) video contests.

Students representing 92 high schools in New Jersey and Pennsylvania created 30-second video PSAs highlighting the dangers of distracted driving. Over 12,000 students also registered to "Take the Just Drive Pledge," a campaign to help put an end to distracted driving. According to the National Safety Council, car crashes are the number one cause of preventable deaths for teens.

The three winning Pennsylvania schools are:

  • First Place: Canon-McMillan High School (Canonsburg, PA) won $15,000. Their PSA,"Just Drive," cautions against risky driving behavior such as cell phone usage and speeding. Click here to watch their video!
  • Second Place: Fox Chapel Area High School (Pittsburgh, PA) won $10,000. Their PSA, "Driver’s Test," encourages drivers to exercise the same responsible behavior they used to pass their driving test.
  • Third Place: Berks Career and Technology Center Just Drive (Leesport, PA) won $5,000. Their PSA, "Game Begin," highlighted important safety steps to take before driving including adjusting car mirrors, fastening seat belts, and storing cell phones.

This year Mr. Zach Maisner used his Advanced Digital Media class to compete in the challenge. “I think anytime students can use a real world situation to create something meaningful, it's a perfect opportunity to take that on.” The class was divided into 3 groups of students and each created their own version. The staff was sent a poll to vote on which they felt was the best and with that, we submitted our file. I was honestly shocked. I was sitting in my classroom before the start of classes and heard the news and jumped with excitement. I'm more excited and proud of the students, who together pushed each other to create wonderful videos more than any prize money.”

NJM announced the winners in special virtual showcases on Facebook and Instagram on April 26 and April 27, 2023. The news was also shared on TikTok. During the virtual presentation, participants viewed the winning NJ and PA submissions.

This contest serves as a reminder each year that teens are our greatest ambassadors. Their collaborative work to raise awareness and end distracted driving gives us promise that safer roads are achievable

"Each year we are impressed and inspired by the creative approaches students take in developing safe driving messages," said Felicity DeBacco-Erni, project director at PA DUI Association. "We're delighted to continue our relationship with NJM to work together educating Pennsylvania teens on the importance of safe driving."

Congratulations to Mr. Maisner and his students!

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