A Lorain County JVS (LCJVS) student won first place in the 2022 Teen Driver Safety Billboard Contest, hosted by State Farm® and the Lorain County Safe Communities Coalition (SCC) that is conducted through Lorain County Public Health (LCPH). La'Kylen Carrillo, from LCJVS, received a $500 gift card prize for his first-place artwork titled “Only a Second,” which will be displayed on three billboards in Lorain County this winter. Carrillo’s teacher Greg Wing received a $250 gift card prize for classroom improvements. Alexis Ambrose from Avon High School was the runner-up and received a $250 gift card prize for “Safety Skeleton.”
“It’s so important for students to learn how to drive focused when they’re learning how to drive,” said Mark Adams, MPH, REHS, health commissioner at LCPH. “This billboard contest gives students an opportunity to highlight the dangers of distracted driving."
Forty-seven entries were submitted in the 2022 Teen Driver Safety Billboard Contest. Submissions came from students at: Avon High School, Clearview High School, Elyria High School, Firelands High School, Lorain County JVS, Marion L. Steele High School and Midview High School. Contest entries were assessed by the Safe Communities Coalition on creativity, originality, and how well the billboard communicated the importance of driving focused.
LCJVS Digital Media Arts junior, Carrillo from Elyria, shared his thoughts on the billboard project when it was presented to him and his classmates. “I wanted to make something that would really open people’s eyes to driving and texting and get them to think before they make a dumb decision.”
“When I put the words in quotations, ‘You tell her daughter you only looked down for a second’, I wanted people to think about the aftereffects and what it would be like to have to tell a child that their parent has died because you looked down for only a second.”
Carrillo could not hold back his excitement about having his artwork chosen as a winning billboard design. “It feels amazing! It is not every day that you win something as big as this! I’m excited to have so many people see it!”
In Lorain County, in 2021, there were 283 documented traffic crashes that involved a distracted driver. The Lorain County Safe Communities Coalition works to prevent injuries and deaths on Lorain County roadways through initiatives like the Teen Driver Safety Billboard Contest.
Any non-driving activity that happens in a vehicle increases the driver’s risk of being in a crash. Dangerous distractions include eating, reading, changing the music, putting on makeup, checking social media, texting, and making phone calls. Driving distracted can cause crashes that result in fines, legal fees, car insurance rate increases, medical costs, and repair bills.
Tips to drive focused:
- Put your phone on do not disturb or silent mode before driving.
- Pull over to make calls or to text.
- If the driver gets distracted, speak up. Offer to send a text or navigate the GPS for the driver.