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Technically Almost Legal: Driving distractions like these should be avoided—even though they are legal

As part of Bridgestone’s 2013 Teens Drive Smart Video Contest, Tosh Chamber’s video  “Technically Almost Legal” took 2nd place.

For three students, college just got a little cheaper, thanks to their winning video submissions in the Bridgestone Teens Drive Smart Video Contest. The videos promote an ongoing commitment to driver safety and education.

The three students were selected from nearly 8,000 online votes. The top winner of the $25,000 scholarship was Nicole Ricketts of Anaheim, California for her video, “Driving is Beautiful.” The second spot and $15,000 in scholarship money went to University of Pittsburgh sophomore Tosh Chambers for his video, “Technically Almost Legal.” The $10,000 third prize went to Natalie Barrios. For her video, “Safe Driver,” Martha Levytsky of Bronxville, New York received a Critic’s Choice Award and a $2,500 cash prize for her video, “Times Not to Text.”

This video was produced by Tosh Chambers, the first runner up. Mr. Chambers is a sophomore at the University of Pittsburgh where he plans to major in film. His video, “Technically Almost Legal” is a humorous look at the myriad activities and distractions in the car that should be avoided for safety reasons, though not all are technically illegal. It is intended to make the point that even if we follow applicable laws (prohibiting texting and hand held cell phone use, depending on the jurisdiction) we can still be distracted. Even if some activity is not unlawful, it can still be dangerous—this is why each of us has to make decisions about the kind of driver we want to be and the risks we might be taking.

Chambers said he was inspired by recent laws on texting and driving and wanted to highlight other activities that are equally as dangerous but have not received the same attention.  “Technically Almost Legal” is currently being used as part of EndDD’s 2013-2014 Student Awareness Initiative that has reached over 100,000 high school students. This video is used to make the point that even if we follow applicable laws (prohibiting texting and hand held cell phone use depending on the jurisdiction) we can still be distracted. And even if something is not illegal it can be dangerous. The video also demonstrates how an interested passenger can change his or her driver’s behaviors by speaking up. The EndDD.org program encourages passengers to be advocates for their safety as well as their drivers and as passengers to share the responsibility with the driver for arriving safely.  The presentation encourages participants to make decisions about the kind of drivers they want to be and consider the risks we might be taking when driving distracted.