New Jersey Department of Education to Promote Contest in High Schools Statewide
For Immediate Release: October 1, 2021
Office of The Attorney General
– Andrew J. Bruck, Acting Attorney General
Division of Highway Traffic Safety
– Eric Heitmann., Director
NEW JERSEY – Acting Attorney General Andrew J. Bruck and the Division of Highway Traffic Safety (“HTS”) today announced a statewide art contest for adults and teens to promote its ongoing “Take Control of Your Destiny” distracted driving public awareness campaign. Winners will have their art displayed on HTS’s social media channels as part of the campaign.
The “Design Your Own Destiny” contest, which begins today, invites New Jersey residents ages 15 and up to create their own version of the colorful steering wheels showcased in the innovative “Take Control of Your Destiny” campaign that launched in April 2021. The wheels, which depict life milestones like graduation, marriage, and pursuing creative and professional interests, are accompanied by the tagline “You Have Places to Go. Don’t Drive Distracted.”
Since its launch, the campaign’s message has reached millions through print, digital, and radio advertisements.
“The Take Control of Your Destiny campaign has been hugely successful and we’re excited to invite the public to become part of it,” said Acting Attorney General Bruck. “The contest is a creative way to raise awareness of districted driving and engage drivers of all ages in the efforts to prevent fatalities on New Jersey roadways.”
The Department of Education is promoting the campaign in high schools throughout the state to help raise awareness among new and soon-to-be drivers of the dangers of distracted driving.
According to New Jersey State Police statistics, distracted driving was to blame for more than a quarter of the fatal crashes that occurred in New Jersey from 2015 through 2019, claiming the lives of 730 drivers, passengers, pedestrians, and bicyclists. During that same five-year period, more than half of all crashes in the state– both fatal and non-fatal – involved a distracted driver.
“The contest, like the campaign, is aimed at inspiring drivers to stay focused on what lies ahead – literally and figuratively – every time they get behind the wheel,” said Eric Heitmann, Director of the Division of Highway Traffic Safety. “Designing their own wheels will help drivers of all ages take stock of what matters most to them and encourage them to avoid risky behaviors– like driving distracted – that can bring a sudden and tragic end to those hopes and dreams.”
HTS will provide contestants with a steering wheel template (downloadable from the contest webpage) to design using crayons, paint, colored pencils, computer generated software, or any other medium they choose.
Deadline for contest submissions is December 1, 2021. There will be two winning steering wheel designs chosen from the following age groups:
- One winner for ages 15-21
- One winner for ages 21 and over
Winners will be announced in January 2022, and the winning wheels will be posted on the HTS’s Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram social media pages, along with the corresponding winner’s name and hometown.
For more information, including a complete list of contest rules and information on how to submit entries, go to www.njsaferoads.com and click on the Design Your Own Destiny contest link.