Contact: Tim Weisberg, California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) Marketing and Public Affairs
Phone: (916) 708-5128
Elk Grove, CA – The winner of the ‘Get Off Your Apps’ video contest is getting a big reward for their creativity in helping spread the message of the dangers of distracted driving. Roger Lua of Mendota, California will receive two tickets to the iHeartRadio Music Festival in Las Vegas, $2,500 for trip expenses and a role in a new traffic safety public service announcement being filmed next month. Prizes are provided courtesy of iHeartMedia. View the winning video.
The ‘Get Off your Apps’ video contest encouraged Californians to create a video showing the dangers of distracted driving, and what they do to not drive distracted. Videos were judged based on creative visuals, camera presence, messaging, safety, and storytelling.
“The contest highlights that staying off the phone while driving requires personal responsibility. Not driving distracted and putting the phone away while behind the wheel is a behavior change every Californian must commit to.”
In 2020, more than 3,000 people were killed and 400,000 were injured throughout the country in crashes involving a distracted driver, accounting for 8% of all traffic deaths. The numbers are likely underreported because law enforcement officers may not always be able to tell that distraction was a factor in a crash. In this year’s California Traffic Safety Survey, more than 70% of respondents identified distracted driving because of texting as their biggest traffic safety concern on California roadways.
“The consequences of distracted driving can be devastating and deadly. Our goal with this contest is to raise awareness and promote a culture of safety. We hope all Californians will join us and help keep our families, friends and communities safer by putting their phones down and focusing on the road when they drive.”
California’s hands-free law prohibits drivers from using handheld cell phones or similar devices while driving, and any driver under the age of 18 is prohibited from using a handheld or hands-free device. Violations are punishable by fines, and as of July 1, 2021, violating the hands-free law for a second time within 36 months of a prior conviction for the same offense will result in a point being added to a driver’s record.
Distracted driving is anything that takes your eyes or mind off the task of driving. In addition to phones, other distractions include eating, grooming, reaching for fallen objects, touching the radio or console controls, changing clothes and deep conversations with passengers.