May is Global Youth Traffic Safety Month™, a time to raise awareness of distracted driving. In 2011, eleven percent of all drivers 15-19 years old involved in fatal crashes were reported as distracted at the time of the crashes. This age group has the largest proportion of driv­ers who were distracted. In order to raise awareness of this issue, the Ad Council and the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) Stop the Texts campaign partnered with a national scholarship competition to select award-winning distracted driving PSAs created by young adults.

Seven years ago, Julie Garner lost her 17-year old son, Hunter, in a tragic distracted driving accident. Today, Hunter’s family organizes Project Yellow Light, a national scholarship competition to urge high school and college students to submit a brief video designed to motivate, persuade and encourage their peers to not drive distracted.  “The premise behind Project Yellow Light,” says Julie Garner “is to give teens a big voice in reducing the number of car crashes – because they have a unique voice and the ability to get through to their friends, their peers, in a way adults cannot.”

Six winners were chosen from nearly 500 submissions from high school and college students to receive college scholarships of up to $5,000. The high school grand prize was awarded to Brittany Devasure, a senior from North Carolina, for her video. For the first time, the contest was open to college students recognizing Rachel Hall, who studies at the Cleveland Institute of Music,as the grand prize winner for her video. The first-place winning videos from both the high school and college competitions will be turned into official Ad Council PSAs. In addition, the Stop the Texts campaign is a hosting a “People’s Choice” voting platform so that the public can pick their favorites from among the remaining finalists.

Ready to pick a “People’s Choice” winner from the remaining finalists?  The top vote getter will become the People’s Choice winner, and will be featured on the Stop the Texts Facebook page.

Learn more about Project Yellow Light at: and NHTSA’s and the Ad Council’s “Stop the Texts. Stop the Wrecks.” texting and driving prevention campaign at