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Dutchess County High School Students Garner Top Honors in Save Your Friends Over the Airwaves Teen Driving Safety Contest

Published: 6/22/2015

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Colleen Pillus

Save the Friends over the Airwaves PSA contest winnersPoughkeepsie…Five Arlington High School students have taken top honors in the statewide 10th Annual “Save Your Friends Over the Airwaves” PSA contest.   The contest is conducted by the New York State Association of Traffic Safety Boards to promote teen driving safety and persuade teens to make life-saving choices to prevent motor vehicle crashes, injuries, and deaths.  

The Save Your Friends over the Airwaves contest received public service announcement entries from high school students from throughout New York State.  Entries were submitted in five categories associated with increased crash risks and injuries involving teen drivers including drowsy driving, distracted driving, impaired driving, speeding, and safety belt use. 

The 2015 winning entries from Arlington High School were submitted by:

Student Grade PSA Category
Selin Karadeniz 10 Speeding
Emily Klausz 10 Safety belt use
Julianna Scalamandre 10 Safety belt use

Additionally, Dimitri Jacques-Louis, Grade 11 won honorable mention for his impaired driving PSA and Madelyn Kei Urbae, Grade 12 won honorable mention for her drowsy driving PSA.

Dutchess County Executive Marcus Molinaro offers his congratulations to all of the students, noting, “The public service announcements produced are excellent examples of driving behaviors that increase risk and ultimately lead to crashes.  These students have captured the important message these types of crashes are preventable.  The work each student has done is truly impressive and may save a life.”

The students are all part of the Arlington High School Media Department.  According to Dutchess County Traffic Safety Board Administrator William C. Johnson, Arlington’s media department students have produced winning entries in every year of the contest, which began in 2006.  “These honors are a true testament to the program, staff, and the creativity and insight of the students.   These students understand the importance of teen driver safety and are helping to send important messages to their peers.”

Motor vehicle crashes continue to be the leading cause of unintentional deaths and injuries among teens in New York State.  In addition, teen driving affects everyone.  More than two-thirds of the crash deaths involving NYS teen drivers occurred to someone other than the driver.  Eighty-five percent of the passengers that were killed or injured in car crashes caused by teen drivers were their peers (14-19 years).

Dutchess County Legislator Ken Roman, who serves as the Chair of the Public Safety committee, noted, “Far too often, teen driver crashes are the result of unsafe behaviors.   Establishing safe driving practices right from the start is so important.    The public service announcements these students have created help to reinforce good driving habits that can save lives.”

Each students winning entry can be heard and downloaded at

The Dutchess County Traffic Safety Board is a coalition of law enforcement, education, health and service agencies and individuals committed to ensuring that our streets, sidewalks, and residents remain safe.