February 21, 2024

Department of Transportation’s ‘Heads Up, Phones Down’ Teen Video Contest Accepting Submissions Through Feb. 29

Department of Transportation’s ‘Heads Up, Phones Down’ Teen Video Contest Accepting Submissions Through Feb. 29

The Montgomery County Department of Transportation’s (MCDOT) “Heads Up, Phones Down” high school video contest gives County high school students 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 or walking. MCDOT will be accepting entries of 30-second Public Service Announcements (PSAs) through Feb. 29.

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 parent, grandparent and former teacher, I know that teens are more likely to listen to advice from each other than from adults,” said County Executive Marc Elrich. “’Through ‘Heads Up, Phones Down,’ we are helping teens educate each other on the dangers of texting while driving or walking and promote safe habits. This contest highlights our youth’s role in achieving our Vision Zero goal of eliminating serious and fatal collisions by 2030.”

Submissions will be grouped into two categories: individual or 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. Students may also qualify for up to 10 Student Service Learning (SSL) hours for successfully completing an entry. 

“The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration tells us that teens have the highest number of fatal crashes due to distracted driving,” said MCDOT Director Chris Conklin. “Overall, 15-to-20-year-olds are 33 percent more likely to die in crashes related to distracted driving than the national average across all age groups. 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, March 15. Last year's winning videos can be viewed online.

Visit the contest website for more information at montgomerycountymd.gov/HUPD. 

Send contest-related questions to pedestrian.safety@montgomerycountymd.gov.