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Virginia Highway Safety Office News Releases

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Media Contact: Melanie Stokes
Department of Motor Vehicles
(804) 367-6623

Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles Wins Regional Award
Public Education Partnership for Teen Safety Recognized

RICHMOND - The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), the Virginia Highway Safety Office, received a regional public affairs and consumer education (PACE) award from the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA) for its work on a teen safety campaign called "Lights, Camera, Take Action: Stop Underage Drinking Now!" A partnership of WRLH TV/FOX Richmond, Loveland Distributing and DMV, the campaign asked central Virginia students to research, write, videotape and edit their own 20-second public service announcements (PSA) about teen drinking and driving. Judges selected four finalists' PSAs to air on Fox Richmond and on the station's website, where viewers could vote for their favorite PSA. The winning PSA aired locally during the Super Bowl on Fox Richmond.

Lights, Camera, Take Action: Stop Underage Drinking Now! generated 70 PSA entries. "Many students worked in teams to research and develop their PSAs. Collaboration resulted in teens learning about and reinforcing safe driving behaviors," said DMV Commissioner D. B. Smit, the Governor's highway safety representative.

The campaign goals included encouraging teenagers to discuss with their peers the dangers of underage alcohol use and drinking and driving, as well as increasing teen awareness. "Fatalities caused by teen drinking and driving dominated news in central Virginia last year. As a result, FOX Richmond, Loveland Distributing, and DMV forged a partnership to create awareness of the problem and recruit teens to be part of the solution," stated Steven Genett, General Manager of FOX Richmond and MyTV Richmond, "We feel like the program engaged teens, and that with the help of our partners, were able to make a positive difference in preventing underage and teen drinking," added Genett. WRLH is in the final process of finishing plans for the second year of the campaign.

Viewer response to the online voting for their favorite PSA exceeded expectations. The four finalists PSAs garnered more than 2,500 online votes.

As a regional winner, the campaign will be evaluated by a panel of judges for an international PACE award in August.

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