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December 17, 2010   Email to Friend 

ALFA AND STATE EDUCATORS LAUNCH "DRIVE SMART" CAMPAIGN
Debra Davis
(334) 613-4686
December 17, 2010

From left are State School Superintendent Dr. Joseph Morton, student advisers Sarah Bethea of Booker T. Washington Magnet High School of Montgomery and Katie Wendland of Autauga Academy of Autaugaville, Alabama Independent School Association Director Don Oswald and Alfa Insurance President Jerry Newby at the press conference Friday.
MONTGOMERY, Ala. -- Alfa Insurance President Jerry Newby along with State School Superintendent Dr. Joseph Morton and Alabama Independent School Association Director Don Oswald today announced a safe driving campaign aimed at saving lives by increasing awareness of the dangers caused by distracted driving.

The Alfa Drive Smart initiative offers Alabama high school students an opportunity to creatively express their thoughts and concerns about distracted driving, particularly texting and driving, to help educate and influence fellow teens and older drivers to "drive smart." Through an online video contest that begins Jan. 1 and ends March 31, 2011, Alfa will award prizes to the student or student group that produces the best video discouraging distracted driving. Videos can be up to one minute in length.

"Automobile accidents are the leading cause of death among teenagers," Newby said. "Anything that distracts a driver, young or old, causes us great concern. Through this project, we hope to prove to all drivers, and especially teenagers, that their safety is far more important than any phone call or text message."

The first-place winner or group will receive one iPad plus $1,500 in cash. The winning student's (or group's) school will receive $1,500. The second-place winner will receive one iPod Touch plus $1,000 in cash. The school of the second-place winner or group will receive $1,000. The third-place winner or group will receive one iPod Nano plus $750 in cash. The school of the third-place winner or group will be awarded $750.

Morton and Oswald thanked Alfa for sponsoring the contest and echoed Newby's remarks. Both school officials have endorsed the campaign and are encouraging students to participate in the contest.

"I have one primary concern that ranks above all others -- the safety and well-being of Alabama's young people," Morton said. "I hope this contest challenges students to use their imagination and creativity to develop a message of safety that resonates across the state and the country."

Oswald said the tragedy of teenagers injured or killed in automobile accidents is all too familiar to him.

"Sadly, many of our member schools, students and families have been impacted by the unnecessary and avoidable incidents that result from careless behavior while driving," Oswald said. "This program should serve as a wonderful outlet for students to express their thoughts and concerns with their peers."

The official contest entry form and a list of contest rules are available online at AlfaDriveSmart.com Approved contest entries will be posted to the site.


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