SPEAK YOUR MIND! - Be heard, and Win

OTTAWA, June 23, 2011 /CNW/ - Lights! Camera! Action! The Traffic Injury Research Foundation (TIRF), arrive alive DRIVE SOBER and Young Drivers of Canada want to see your public service announcement (PSA) videos for the SPEAK YOUR MIND! youth video contest on impaired driving.

Geared to youth across Canada aged 15-25, the video PSA contest is a component of Change the Conversation, a national education program on impaired driving, sponsored by the Brewers Association of Canada that was launched in November 2010. The goal of the video contest is to engage Canada's youth in the conversation on reducing impaired driving by asking them to produce their own public service announcements that increase knowledge and share strategies to avoid drinking and driving.

"Even though youth are less likely to drink and drive relative to other age groups still almost 1/3 of fatally injured drivers who were legally impaired while driving are aged 25 or younger" explains TIRF President and CEO, Robyn Robertson. "The contest was designed to encourage youth to learn the facts about impaired driving and use their creative energy to share their reasons for choosing not to drink and drive."

Participants are asked to submit a short PSA video (15- or 30-seconds) based on Change the Conversation's current PSAs/posters and web content. Winning videos will be turned into radio and television PSAs and distributed to radio stations and television stations across Canada. Grand prize winners in each category will also receive a Young Drivers of Canada novice driver training program to prepare them for the road ahead.  Additional prizes are to be given to runners-up and for Viewers' Choice.

"Cultural changes happen when small groups of individuals do the right thing, inspiring others to do the same. We look forward to seeing young Canadians speak their mind with this Youth Video PSA contest." says Peter Christianson, President of Young Drivers of Canada.

A new series of Change the Conversation program materials (PSAs, posters and flash cards) are also being released in conjunction with the video contest launch. Topics address a range of issues including passengers of drinking drivers, alcohol and fatigue, myths about drunk drivers, and, the time of year when drivers in fatal crashes are more likely to test positive for alcohol.

"The new materials also include information from TIRF's upcoming Road Safety Monitor on youth drinking and driving," notes Robertson. "Based on preliminary results of the report, it's encouraging to see how responsible a majority of youth are when it comes to their personal choices not to drink and drive or to not ride with a drinking driver."

Entrants' videos will be posted for voting on Change the Conversation's YouTube channel ( Viewers can vote for their favourite submissions for the viewers' choice award until September 15, 2011.

Videos will be judged on accuracy of information, use of positive messaging, and artistic merit. Judges will include representatives from the road safety industry, Canadian media industry, and CTC Program Partners. Winning videos will be announced on the National Day of Remembrance for Road Crash Victims (November 23rd, 2011). 

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