March 21, 2023

Submissions Being Accepted from High School Students for ‘Heads Up, Phones Down’ Teen Video Contest Through March 31

Montgomery County teens have an opportunity to win some great prizes by producing peer videos promoting the importance of focusing on their surroundings, instead of their phones, while driving and walking. The County Department of Transportation’s “Heads Up, Phones Down” high school video contest will be accepting entries of 30-second Public Service Announcements (PSAs) through March 31.

County public and private high school students are eligible to submit contest videos. Entries can be submitted individually or from a group of up to four students. Videos can be submitted in English or Spanish.

“As a former teacher, I know that peer-to-peer messaging is influential and resonates with other teens,” said County Executive Marc Elrich. “It’s important for our young people to help each other make good decisions and habits regarding vehicle and pedestrian safety. These messages and efforts can help eliminate distracted driving and support our County Vision Zero goals.”

Submissions will be grouped by individual projects and group projects. Individual entries can win an Apple Mac Book Air, an Apple Watch or tripod. Winning group submissions will split an $800 grand prize, $400 second prize and $200 third prize, with a Visa gift card for each member.

Students can submit their entries on the online entry form here. Students may also qualify for up to five Student Service Learning (SSL) hours for successfully completing an entry.

“We know that, nationally, young drivers, ages 15-19, have the highest number of fatal crashes due to distracted driving,” said County Department of Transportation Director Chris Conklin. “With 95 percent of teenagers having access to a smartphone, we hope this contest will serve as a reminder of the importance of avoiding distracted driving.”

Winning contestants will be visited by MCDOT staff and will have their videos posted on MCDOT’s Safe Routes to School website on Friday, April 14.

Visit the contest website for more information at

Send contest-related questions to