ugotbrainsRed Bank Regional Interactive Media students and faculty teaming up to bring awareness to the dangers of distracted driving include (back row): RBR Student Assistance Counselor Lori Todd, Mike LoBasso, Justin Delaney, Tim Mills, Josh Bruce, Joel Sibrian, Joe Malley, Matt Suszka, Ryan Toriello; (front row): Aria Huntley, School Resource Officer Rob Chenoweth, Nicole Delany, Nikki Lauro, Haley Watson, Eric Banal, RBR Interactive Media Teacher Carl Grillo.

Press release from Red Bank Regional High School

TV production students in Mr. Carl Grillo’s Interactive Media class at Red Bank Regional High School have adopted a mission to bring awareness to their peers on the dangers of distracted driving. Late last year, the students entered a competition conducted by the Brain Injury Alliance of New Jersey (BIANJ) and RBR is one of 59 schools in New Jersey participating in the program, and the three finalists in the competition will win a driving simulator for their high school.

Mr. Grillo’s students produced a video in conjunction with the school’s Project Prom activity. The video propelled the RBR team to the second round of the U Got Brains competition, and can be viewed on YouTube here.

For the second round of the competition, the students will embark on a public relations campaign which will include Public Service Announcements (PSAs), bracelets, banners, and having students sign a pledge not to be distracted while driving. The class has also created a Twitter account and encourages the public to follow them at @RBRHSDBD.  The student-designed logo, which resembles a New Jersey license plate, stands for Red Bank Regional High School Don’t Be Distracted, and appears on fliers throughout the school and a banner at the school’s entrance.

Car crashes are the number one cause of death and disability in teens, and according to the U Got Brains website, a teenager is involved in an automobile crash every 11 minutes in New Jersey. One teen dies each week on New Jersey roads.

“This project is important for RBR students because they need to realize the dangers and the consequences of being distracted while driving,” explained senior Ryan Toriello of Little Silver, who was instrumental in editing the first video comments on the students’ Safe Teen Driving PSA. “This problem is not something that will disappear overnight and it must be taught to each generation of drivers. This competition prize will help ensure that the message will continue after the contest is over.”