Tuesday, February 25, 2014

CDOT Partners with Local Band to Turn the Volume Up on Distracted Driving

From:  CDOT

The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) launches a statewide contest aimed at increasing awareness around the dangers of distracted driving. “Live Life in Slo Mo,” kicking off today and running through April, invites Colorado high school students to create a 60-second video depicting their own interpretation of what it means to live in the moment-free of distractions-using local band Rachel and the Kings’ new hit song, “Slo Mo.”

The number of people killed in distraction-affected crashes in 2012 was 3,328, with an estimated 421,000 people injured; 16% of all distracted driving crashes involved drivers under the age of 20 (Distraction.gov).

In 2012, 12,202 teen drivers were at-fault in crashes in Colorado. National trends spotlight distracted driving as a contributing factor to many of these accidents. These staggering local and national statistics prompted CDOT to target this age group in Colorado.

“Our youngest and most inexperienced drivers make up the largest proportion of drivers who are distracted, often times resulting in serious injury or fatal crashes,” said Emily Wilfong, Communications Manager at CDOT. “We want to raise awareness of the dangers of distracted driving by providing a positive platform for high school students to share their experiences.”

To strengthen the contest’s reach and resonate with Colorado high school students, CDOT is partnering with Denver-based pop-band Rachel and the Kings to implement this 10-week contest. Colorado teens practice living life in “Slo Mo” in their daily lives and CDOT wants to celebrate this behavior and challenge them to think about living life in “Slo Mo” every time they get behind the wheel or ride in the car with their friends.

“To me, ‘Slo Mo’ means taking a moment to stop, or slow down, and appreciate the world around me,” said Rachel James, lead singer of Rachel and the Kings. “I hope ‘Slo Mo’ can lay a foundation for teens and inspire them to create their own moments, free of distraction.”

CDOT will also partner with schools across the state to promote the contest and its underlying message by communicating with faculty and distributing branded posters. The contest begins February 25, 2014, and runs through April. Students can visit CDOT’s Facebook page to learn more and enter: www.facebook.com/ColoradoDOT

The grand prize includes a $2,000 donation to the winning school and the opportunity to join the band on-stage while their video is featured at a Rachel and the Kings concert this spring.

For more information on Colorado teen driving safety and laws, please visit www.COteendriver.com or visit  Keys2Drive (www.teendriving.aaa.com/CO/), a AAA website to help parents and teens through the learning-to-drive process.