SALEM, VA— Virginia teens are being encouraged to jingle their way to a safe holiday by creating a safe driving song or tune for a statewide competition and a chance to win cash prizes of up to $500.
The Jingle Your Way to a Safe Holiday: Buckle Up and Celebrate Responsibly Contest is happening now across the Commonwealth with a goal to keep teen drivers and passengers safe during the Christmas and New Year’s holidays. The contest, sponsored by Youth of Virginia Speak Out About Traffic Safety (YOVASO), the Virginia State Police (VSP), State Farm, and the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), is an effort to reduce teen fatalities during what has become a high-risk period for young drivers.
Over the past three years during the month of December, 17 teens aged 15 to 19 have died in motor vehicle crashes in the Commonwealth and 1,235 were injured, according to statistics from DMV. During the same time period, young drivers aged 15-19 accounted for 4,245 crashes and 14 fatal crashes in the Commonwealth during the month of December. Many of the fatalities occurred when teens were on break for the Christmas holiday.
This fun and educational initiative is designed to encourage teens to buckle up and celebrate and drive safely throughout the holidays. The jingle competition is open to Virginia youth ages 11-19 and involves developing a safe driving jingle (short song or tune) that promotes traffic safety and the holiday campaign theme. Teens are encouraged to enter the contest individually and/or as part of a school club or youth group. Jingle entries must be in video format and no more than 30 seconds in length. Submissions are due to YOVASO by December 7, 2023 at 11:59pm. The top six jingles in the middle and high school division, as selected by YOVASO staff, will be shared on the Holiday Campaign landing page for public voting December 11-14, 2023. The winning jingle in both divisions will be announced on December 15, 2023, and will be shared on social media throughout the Christmas holiday to remind students to buckle up and drive safely.
The winning jingle in the high school division will receive a $500 cash prize; second place will receive $200 and third will receive $100. The winning middle school jingle will receive $200 with second place being awarded $100 and third place $50. All prizes are made possible by a grant from State Farm. For the official jingle guidelines, winner selection process, and prize information, visit the YOVASO website or Holiday Campaign Page.
“The jingle competition is a fun and creative way for teens to remind each other to buckle up and drive safely during this high-risk period,” said Mary King, YOVASO Program Manager. “We know all youth and teens love music and these safe driving jingles are a great way to reach youth statewide. We encourage all teens and youth groups to get creative and have fun while creating a catchy and memorable jingle for the holidays.”
For more information on how your teen, school, or youth group can get involved, contact Casey Taylor, Program Development Coordinator at 540-739-4392 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
YOVASO is Virginia’s peer-to-peer education and leadership program for young driver and passenger safety. Through YOVASO, teens work to advocate for safer driving among their peers and to develop positive prevention strategies for their schools and communities. YOVASO is administered by VSP and funded through grants from the Virginia DMV. Membership in YOVASO is free and open to all Virginia high schools, middle schools, and youth groups.
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