Lt. Governor Honors 17 ‘TXT L8R’ Contest Winners; Two Are JHS Grads

INDIANAPOLIS (July 18, 2014) – Lt. Governor Sue Ellspermann today honored 17 Indiana high school and college students who earned $5,000 scholarships by urging their social media followers to “Drive Now. TXT L8R.”  Two of the scholarship winners are Austin Hoffman and Logan Schroering, both of Jasper.  Both are 2013 graduates of Jasper High School and are currently roommates at the University of Southern Indiana in Evansville.

They won their scholarship awards producing an impactful six-second video for VINE, an popular social media site for younger people.

 

 

“A texting driver is 23 times more likely to get into a crash than a non-texting driver,” said Lt. Governor Ellspermann, who voted for the 2011 ban while serving in Indiana’s House of Representatives. “Instead of making a tragic mistake behind the wheel, Hoosier high school and college students put their smartphones to good use educating others.”

During Distracted Driving Awareness Month in April, a total of 179 students posted more than 7,000 tweets and 47 photos or videos using Instagram or Vine. Staff from the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles, Indiana Criminal Justice Institute, Indiana Department of Labor, Indiana Department of Transportation and Indiana State Police tracked the posts and judged the entries that were the most creative.

$5,000 will be deposited into the CollegeChoice 529 savings plans for each of the winners.

The U.S. Department of Transportation reported that in 2009, more than 5,400 people died in crashes linked to driver distraction. The majority of text message citations and warnings issued by Indiana State Police last year were for drivers under age 30.

The “Drive Now. TXT L8R.” contest was funded through a federal grant by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Winning entries may be found at www.in.gov/dol/2881.htm.

 

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