NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Aug. 2, 2011)—Three college students now have some additional tuition money, thanks to their winning video submissions in the Bridgestone Americas Safety Scholars Contest.
Amber Cullen of Akron, Ohio, took home the $10,000 grand prize for her video, “The Phone Bandit.” Robert Mai of Newport Beach, Calif. and Everett, Wash. native Matthew Robertson won second and third place, respectively, for their videos; they each received $5,000 in the national safe driving competition, now in its fifth year.
The three winning videos beat out almost 1,500 other entries from 16-21 year-olds across the United States and Canada (excluding Quebec) to become one of the 10 finalists. They then secured the most votes from the public to win the grand prize. Nearly 10,000 votes were cast on www.safetyscholars.com to determine the winners. The three winners and all top ten finalists’ videos can be viewed on the website.
“This year’s winning videos prove that young drivers are passionate about teen driver safety,” said Angela Patterson Sikes, digital media coordinator, Community and Corporate Relations, Bridgestone Americas, who also manages the company’s teen driver safety initiatives. “These videos contain compelling messages that speak directly to the dangerous distractions young drivers face. Sharing these messages with both new and experienced drivers and motorists will help make the roads safer for everyone.”
In addition to receiving a college scholarship and a free set of Bridgestone brand tires, the three winners have the chance to have their video broadcast as a public service announcement (PSA) on television stations across the United States. These PSAs are supported by Bridgestone Americas in cooperation with Driver’s Edge, an independent, non-profit hands-on safe driving course that’s offered free of charge to teens in select U.S. cities. The 2010 Safety Scholars PSAs have aired more than 27,000 times on TV and cable stations across the United States, reaching an audience of more than 434 million viewers.
Amber Cullen is beginning her sophomore year at Bowling Green State University, where she is studying film production. Her video, “The Phone Bandit,” takes a humorous approach to texting behind the wheel. Her “super hero” runs through the streets stopping people from texting while they’re driving.
Robert Mai of Newport Beach, Calif., won second place. Robert is beginning his freshman year at Chapman University in Orange County. His video, “The Year of Driving Dangerously,” used over-the-top distractions as a way to demonstrate there are plenty of things that can take your attention away from the road.
Matthew Robertson of Everett, Wash., took third place with his video “The Law Encouragement Officer.” He will attend Biola University to study film production. His fictitious “law encouragement officer” stopped drivers for obeying traffic safety laws, but with the purpose of encouraging them to keep it up.
About Bridgestone Americas, Inc.:
Nashville, Tenn.-based Bridgestone Americas, Inc. (BSAM) is the U.S. subsidiary of Bridgestone Corporation, the world’s largest tire and rubber company. BSAM and its subsidiaries develop, manufacture and market a wide range of Bridgestone, Firestone and associate brand tires to address the needs of a broad range of customers, including consumers, automotive and commercial vehicle original equipment manufacturers, and those in the agricultural, forestry and mining industries. The companies are also engaged in retreading operations throughout the Western Hemisphere and produce air springs, roofing materials, and industrial fibers and textiles. The BSAM family of companies also operates the world’s largest chain of automotive tire and service centers. Guided by its One Team, One Planet message, the company is dedicated to achieving a positive environmental impact in all of the communities it calls home.