Sandpoint Teens in Finals National “Act Out Loud” Competition to win $20,000

SANDPOINT, IdahoMobilityWire® – April 1, 2010

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A group of local Sandpoint teenagers has been selected as a finalist in The National Act Out Loud competition, a contest sponsored by Allstate Insurance to promote the dangers of distracted driving. Winners of the video campaign contest collect a $10,000 cash prize and the benefit of knowing they are rallying for an important cause that can have a major positive impact on teen drivers.

When Sandpoint teens Kipling and Rio Pedersen joined with videographer and Team Advisor, Justin Landis, to submit a project proposal in an effort to win the national Act Out Loud competition, they didn’t think they would really make it to the finals. But they did. Realizing the magnitude of the impending task of carrying out the proposal, they wisely beefed up their team to include teens John Mares, Damen Rodriguez, and Elaina Arriondo.

We are thrilled to have made it this far,” says 15-year-old Team Leader, Kipling Pedersen. “We realize that to bring home the huge prize for our school, represent Idaho, and execute our proposal, we’ll need to determine the weak areas and fill in the holes with strong team members. It’s going to be a lot of work but should be a great challenge!”

The national Act Out Loud competition, sponsored by Allstate Insurance, received almost 100 proposals from groups of teens designed to help deter distracted teen driving. Twenty groups from twenty different states have been selected from across the nation to begin projects that are designed to attract public attention and raise awareness of the dangers of the road. As the Sandpoint team representing the state of Idaho, the “Fiscal Jackhammers” stand poised to win a $20,000 purse to be shared with their high school, principal, teammates and adviser.

Each group has been awarded $1,000 and a video camera with which to record team progress, community events, and leadership participation. As part of National Youth Traffic Safety Month in April, each team will attempt to educate and prepare their city and state for the upcoming summer months, one of the deadliest seasons of the year for teen drivers.

It’s a really great opportunity to help save teen lives, and we are excited to make a difference,” says Co-leader Elaina Arriondo. “The team is ready to begin our month long vigil against the number one killer of teens today: distracted driving.”

Idaho’s bordering state, Washington, recently banned cell phone use while driving, and the Idaho Senate just outlawed texting while driving. Sandpoint Community Support Leader and Idaho District One Senator, Shawn Keough, is looking forward to promoting the team and its goals in any way she can.

As a Senator in Idaho, I’m very interested in anything we can do to make the Idaho’s roads safer,” says Keough. “It’s great to see teens getting out there and doing something proactive to help educate, inform, and hopefully save the lives of their peers.”

The team of Sandpoint teens also had the opportunity to work with a local company that developed a smartphone application called TextArrest (www.TextArrest.com) to help keep teen drivers focused on the road and not on their phones. Conceived of by a doctor with emergency room experience, TextArrest was developed and then brought to market by Sandpoint-based MetaXpert which has market-tested the mobile app with local teen drivers.

“Sandpoint teens were some of the earliest beta testers of the TextArrest application and their feedback played a lead role in the safe driving solution’s development,” says MetaXpert CEO, Charles Manning. “This contest presents the perfect opportunity for young people to communicate about a very serious subject in a way that their peers will understand and accept. It is our hope that these videos can have a major and lasting positive impact, reducing distracted driving across the board with the teen drivers who need to hear this message the most.”

The Sandpoint team’s current activity will be posted on Facebook as Fiscal Jackhammer (http://fiscaljackhammers.com), where fans will be able to watch interviews, read about upcoming events, and track the team’s progress.

The winner of the Act Out Loud competition will be determined by public voting. From May 10th through May 21st, voters will be able to access each team by way of actoutloud.org, and may place one vote per day until voting is closed.

For more information or to help Idaho (and Sandpoint) win this auspicious award, please send an email to fjactoutloud@gmail.com (you’ll be sent a reminder to vote), or visit http://fiscaljackhammers.com to fan Fiscal Jackhammers on Facebook.

CONTACT INFORMATION

Melissa Burns
Mobility Public Relations
Work: +1-208-946-4849
Email: mburns@mobilitypr.com

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