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Students recognized for their PSAs on safe driving

Jessica Schladebeck
505-5438/@JessDispatch

It takes two seconds to put in headphones, to put on glasses, to take a selfie — the same amount of time it takes to buckle up.

For more information on the "Here... but driving" campaign visit the Facebook page.

This was one of the 40 driver-safety messages touted by the student-made public service videos for the Second Annual York/Adams High School Safe Teen Driving PSA Contest, sponsored by State Farm Insurance.

PSAs: The contest — organized and implemented by the York Area Highway Safety Council's Safe Teen Driving Committee, which also works with the Center for Traffic Safety to coordinate like events — asked high schoolers to create a 30-second PSA with a focus on one of three categories: seat-belt use, texting and driving, and distracted driving. The top three videos in each category, judged for their originality, quality and ability to reach a teenage audience, were recognized on Wednesday at the Spring Grove Area High School auditorium.

The teams were made of up to six students, and each student on the first-place teams was awarded $100, each student on the second-place teams received $50, and students in the third-place slot earned $25 a piece.

Students from Dallastown, having the most wins, also took home the traveling trophy — for the second year in a row — and also earned $500 for their school. More than $2,000 in prizes were doled out courtesy of State Farm.

Dallastown Area High School students take home the travelling trophy for the second year in row after earning the most wins at the York/Adams High School Safe Teen Driving PSA Contest

Nathan Simms from Dallastown Area High School accepted the cash reward in the seat belt category on behalf of his team.

The 30-second video features two students in a car, one of them asking why the other isn't buckled up. His reasoning, he said, is that there are smart cars now, so he can just put his into cruise control and it will steer itself. His seat belt-wearing companion tells him that is not in fact the case, just before the two of them yell and the screen goes black.

Viewers were left the message: "It doesn't matter how smart your car is."

Simms said he was inspired by an article about a Google self-driving car causing an accident.

Here ... but: Those in attendance were also encourage to join the "Here ... but driving" campaign, an local initiative started by the Stambaugh family with the Center for Traffic Safety.

On March 27, 2015, 17-year-old Ashlyn Stambaugh struck a utility pole after losing control of her car along Five Points Road in Jackson Township. She died two days later. Stambaugh sent a one word text, reading “here,” to a friend waiting for her to arrive at her house down the street, just moments before the crash. Her family later launched the campaign to bring attention the widespread issue of teens texting while driving.

Those who pledge are asked to download an app on their phone that disables notifications when they're moving faster than 10 mph, not to text and drive, and to ask one other person to sign the pledge with them.

Since the campaign's start in November, more than 4,000 people have signed on, said Wayne Harper, the project director at the Center for Traffic Safety. Several school districts in the area have requested their students sign up, and Harper said the campaign is receiving interest from local businesses as well, most notably Utz.

To join the "Here ... but driving" campaign or for more information, visit the Facebook page or the Center for Traffic Safety's website.

Winners: Below is a full list of winners from the event.

Seatbelt Use

First: Dallastown, “Two Seconds”: Caidan Rowe, Cody Somerville, Ashley Kratz, Matt Neuheimer and  Jenna Wellman

Second: Dallastown, “Wear a Seatbelt”: Ryan Shuey, Sara Jackson, Chase Matthews, Lauren Eyler, Carly Jackson, Ben Kannel and Kayla Blake

Third: Dallastown, “Self-Driving Car”: Nathan Simms, Lucas Staub and Joey Wagner

Distracted Driving

First: Dallastown, “How to Operate a Weapon”: Benjamin Scofield

Second: Dallastown, “Lose Your Streak or Lose Your Life”: Brianna Robinson, Brian Floray, Drake Drew and Ashley Kratz

Third: Dallastown, “Eliminate Distractions”: Marquis Thomas, Alexa Woodworth, Omari Blackwood and Osmir Drayden

Texting and Driving

First: Dallastown, “Texting and Driving Isn’t a Game”: Kayla Blake, Joey Mogel, Kiran Hubard, Bailey Harrison, Jarrett Hastler and Jazmin Mann

Second: Dallastown, “You’re Not Stupid”: Joey Wagner, Lucas Staub, Mariah Barley, Kimmie Wagner, Caleb Bortner and Christine Wagner

Third: Spring Grove, “Is It Worth It?”: Madi O’Connor and Taylor Groft

— Reach Jessica Schladebeck at jschladebeck@yorkdispatch.com.