Hernando County teens win video contest about distracted driving

By Kim Leoffler, Reporter
Last Updated: Wednesday, May 10, 2017, 11:06 AM EDT

A group of teens in Hernando County have won a contest for creating a video highlighting the dangers of distracted driving.

  • Teens are in ninth grade at Nature Coast Technical High School in Brooksville
  • Prize for contest was $1,000 from AT&T
  • Contest part of AT&T's "It can wait" campaign
  • Alert Today, Alive Tomorrow

The group, all ninth graders at Nature Coast Technical High School in Brooksville, had the most re-tweets on their video, which got them a $1,000 prize from AT&T.

"It took a while to get an idea, but we kind of wanted to take it the more serious route -- well, as far as we could, us being 15 and without licenses," ninth grader Destiny Barnes said.

Barnes was one of three students who made the winning video.

Their entire video production class made videos they posted to Twitter as part of a contest run though AT&T. The winning group got more than 130 re-tweets to secure the $1,000 prize.

"We didn't know we could impact such a huge crowd and get that big of a reaction to it in our age group," Barnes said.

It's all part of AT&T’s “It can wait” campaign, which aims to encourage everyone, but especially teens, to be alert anytime they get behind the wheel and put away their phones while driving.

"Unfortunately, the statistics show that seven out of 10 drivers engage in some form of distracted driving when they're driving on the roads," Edwin Narain, Regional Director for AT&T said. "And four out of 10 of those drivers are actually searching the web at the same time.”

“So we think if we can catch young people while they're still in high school driving or about to drive, not only we can prevent that bad behavior from happening, but we can also encourage them to share with their friends not to engage in the behavior as well," he added.

The winning students wanted to use their prize money to continue educating others by making a donation to the Florida Students Against Destructive Decisions.

This contest was just between the video production class members, but AT&T has held similar contests throughout the state.