My Road My Future student video contest launched

Wednesday, March 6th, 2019

With fire department support, PfISD high schools launched a new contest intended to reduce teen injuries and deaths from distracted driving, as part of the ongoing My Road My Future campaign.

Now in its second year, My Road My Future is led by PfISD high schools with support from PfISD police and Travis County ESD #2 (the Pflugerville Fire Department). This spring’s campaign kicked off March 5 featuring a contest with students producing their own public service announcement videos that highlight the dangers of distracted driving.  The announcement of the top videos will coincide with National Distracted Driving Awareness Month in April.

“Distracted driving is an increasingly deadly problem, especially among teens, so we must get students involved in creating the messages and visualizing the solutions,” said PfISD Police Chief Patrick Petherbridge. “I believe they have a unique perspective and will do a tremendous job taking this critical conversation to the next level.”

The #MyRoadMyFuture video contest is now open to all high school students in the District. Students have until Wednesday evening, April 3, to finish their video submissions, upload them to a YouTube channel, and submit their application forms to the school resource officer (SRO). There is no limit to how many videos can be submitted from each school. School administrators, police, and fire personnel will then review all video submissions April 4-5 and choOse one winning submission from each campus. The campus winners will be publicly announced on Monday, April 8, at which point each high school has exactly three weeks to get as many views of their chosen video as possible. School staff and students are encouraged to be creative and communicate frequently in April using all available tools including school email blasts, school Facebook and Twitter pages, incentives, daily announcements, classroom conversations, community partners, and any other innovative efforts to get more views.

The video with the most YouTube views as of 12 noon on Monday, April 29, will be the 2019 winner of My Road My Future. The winning school will be honored with a trophy from police and fire, and the video will receive special publicity on the school district and fire department’s websites and social media channels—as well as being nominated for potential news coverage by local TV stations and newspapers.

“My Road My Future has the potential to save lives well beyond prom and graduation season,” Chief Petherbridge said.  “We are excited to see what kind of videos these students produce, and how everyone in each high school bands together to help make them go viral.”

Video submissions are required to be no longer than 1 minute and should focus on at least one type of distracted driving: visual, manual or cognitive. Common distraction sources include texting, grooming or applying make-up, eating, or reaching for something inside the vehicle such as a personal item, phone, or the control panel. Student filmmakers must meet with an SRO prior to filming to ensure the planned video is appropriate and produced safely.

Facts & Figures

  • Here in Travis County, the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) reported a 12% increase in deadly crashes in Travis County from 2016 to 2017.
  • AAA reports that distraction was a factor in 3 out of 5 moderate-to-severe teenage crashes in 2015.
  • The population group most likely to text and drive is young adults (up to age 34), according to the Pew Research Center.
  • TxDOT reports there were 444 deaths and 2,889 serious injuries as a result of distracted driving in the state in 2017.
  • According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were 3,450 deaths as a result of distracted driving in 2016.
  • NHTSA estimates 9 deaths and more than 1,000 injuries every day from distracted driving.