Gary Offerdahl said he hopes a video he and several other students made recently during Eileen Kolat's class at Hubbard High School gets young people thinking about the consequences of every action.
The video, "Drive by the Rules. Keep the Privilege," looks at several distractions that can hinder young drivers , explained Offerdahl, 17.
FOX Sports Ohio and the Ohio Department of Public Safety recently named the video the winner of their "Be On TV" contest that ran in support of National Teen Driver Safety Week Oct. 18-24. Offerdahl's video was scheduled to air during a Cleveland Cavaliers game last month.
Hubbard Community News / Virginia Shank
FOX Sports Ohio and the Ohio Department of Public Safety named Hubbard High School students winners of the ‘‘Be On TV’’ contest, in support of National Teen Driver Safety Week in October. Pictured clockwise from left are: Gary Offerdahl, Kurtis Drummond, Andre Givens and Abby Mills.
"We've done some videos that are funny, and the point is to make people laugh," Gary said. "But with this we're trying to get a point across. We're trying to make people think."
As part of the contest, Ohio teens were encouraged to submit their own videos focusing on why it's important to follow safe driving practices. The Hubbard video encourages young drivers to drive at safe speeds, avoid taking unnecessary risks, to refrain from text messaging their friends while driving and to buckle up when they get into their vehicles.
Hubbard seniors Kurtis Drummond, 17, and Andre Givens, 18, along with junior Abby Mills, 16, star in the video. Offerdahl, a senior, and junior Mike Lopuchovsky, 16, ran the cameras. Offerdahl and senior Kelli Frost, 17, edited the final submission.
"It's about being responsible with the choices you make," explained Mills. "It's about taking your responsibilities, in this case driving, seriously because bad choices can cause consequences like accidents and people getting hurt or even killed."
Kolat, the students' video adviser, explained their work offers a unique look at teen driver safety by comparing the actions of student athletes to the responsibilities of teen drivers.
"They compared characteristics and objectives they might use in other areas of their life, like using speed on the basketball court or taking risks on the football field and how those same things could have different outcomes when it comes to driving," she said. "They did a wonderful job and get their point across."
Kolat said typically she receives information about various video contests and passes it on to the students, who then decide whether they want to work on the project. The students often work in collaboration with the school district's SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions) group.
"They've won contests before," Kolat explained. "This one is especially nice because of the subject and because it really is a community service project. They've learned they can make a difference, make an impact with their work and that's quite an accomplishment."
Some 50 videos were submitted from across the state and narrowed to 10 finalists. The final videos were telecast during FOX Sport Ohio's High School Football Game of the Week during National Teen Driver Safety Week. Two videos created by students from Howland schools were among the finalists.