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Toyota & Students Say ‘It’s Not Fine’ to Text And Drive

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Texting and driving

Two students from the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools in Charlotte, North Carolina, have been named the winners of the Toyota TeenDrive365 Video Challenge, which dared students to create a national driver safety public service announcement about the dangers of texting behind the wheel.

More than 1,300 videos were submitted to the competition, the winner of which was It’s Not Fine, a one-minute video created by high school seniors Kirklin Hopkins (17) and Kellen Stadler (18).

It’s Not Fine delivers a direct and powerful narrative that highlights the dangers of distracted driving and the ability of teens to encourage safe driving behavior,” said Mike Goss, general manager, Toyota Social Innovation.

As a reward, the students received $15,000 and granted the opportunity to work with a Discovery Education film crew to reshoot the video into a TV-ready PSA. The second-place winner also received $10,000 and the third-place winner and people’s choice winner received $7,500. Six additional finalists and four regional winners earned cash prizes as well.

Related: These driving apps will make your commute better

“We are very proud of the powerful video storytelling by Mack and Kellen,” said Dr. Clayton Wilcox, superintendent of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools. “It drives home the dangers of texting and driving in a dramatic, effective way. As a national PSA, it could save lives by showing what happens when you text and drive.”

The video opens with Sarah riding in a vehicle as her older sister Ellie texts and drives. Ellie defends her actions by saying “It’s fine, it’s only for a second.” The video then cuts to years later, with Sarah now behind the wheel. She picks her up phone having remembered her sister’s example and gets into a fatal accident.

You can watch the student-made PSA below.

Related: How Toyota Safety Sense technology helps you be more aware