High school students take on texting while driving
In Fairfax County, Virginia, there is the country’s largest highway construction project underway. Concerns about worker safety led to a competition amongst four Virginia high schools.
The construction company in charge of the project, Transurban-Fluor, launched a contest for students to develop a marketing plan that would discourage young drivers from texting while behind the wheel. The safety campaign is aimed at reducing distracted driving, especially in the work zones.
Results of the competition were announced in December, 2010. Each team of students was given a $5,000 budget. The campaign slogan was “Orange Cones. No Phones.” All teams were praised for their ideas and dedication to the effort. One team came up with orange rubber bracelets with the slogan on them. The bracelet would be a reminder each time the wearer was driving. Another team recommended school assemblies presented by experts with statistics on distracted driving.
The winning team incorporated social media into their plan. Team members Christine Greve, Ritika Jain and Jenny Felter (from left) started with a survey of their peers and discovered that 75% of teens used social media (Facebook, YouTube, etc.) at least once a day. Consequently, they proposed that the construction company advertise their campaign on Twitter, Facebook and other popular sites. The team from George Marshall High School also came up with a second slogan for the campaign: “Is one glance worth the chance?” They also suggested a marketing competition for students to develop the best YouTube video commercial for the “Orange Cones. No Phones” campaign.
The winning team’s plan will be put into action in 2011. Each team member will also receive internship credit. Great job, students.