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Virginia Highway Safety Office News Releases

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Media Contact: Melanie Stokes
Department of Motor Vehicles
(804) 367-6623

Underage Drinking is Focus of Campaign
60 Teens Created Safety Messages to Combat Risky Behavior

RICHMOND - The Lights, Camera, Take Action-Stop Underage Drinking NOW campaign generated 60 entries from local teens who created anti-underage drinking public service announcements (PSAs). Twice the number of schools participated in the campaign compared to 2007. The winning PSAs will be featured on FOX Richmond during the NFL's NFC Championship Game on January 18, 2009, American Idol and the Daytona 500.

The campaign is a partnership between the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles' Virginia Highway Safety Office (VAHSO), FOX Richmond, Loveland Distributing, law enforcement agencies and area school divisions. At the beginning of the school year, FOX Richmond (WRLH TV) invited local teens to produce PSAs with messages that focus public attention on and combat teen drinking. These teen-created messages will serve to educate the community about the prevalence and adverse affects of underage drinking.

In December, the PSAs will be judged by a panel of local law enforcement, local television producers and sponsor representatives. The top PSAs will air on WRLH TV and be published on FOX Richmond's web site for public voting. Each student who enters could win an Apple iPod Touch digital player, a Sony HD camcorder or an Adobe Premiere Pro CS3 software package.

"We are excited about the entries for this year's Lights, Camera, Take Action initiative," said John Saunders, Director of DMV's VAHSO. "This campaign is a powerful tool to stimulate conversations about safe behaviors. We encourage high school students throughout central Virginia to vote for their favorite message, and tell a friend -- don't drink and don't drink and drive."

Last year in Virginia, 30 teens ages 15 to 19 were killed and 759 were injured in alcohol-related crashes. "Unfortunately, teens are one of the highest risk populations on our roadways," Saunders said. "Despite laws against underage drinking, it still remains a significant problem. This campaign is important because it recruits teens to be an integral part of the solution."

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