SOUTH AMBOY, N.J., May 5, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The DCH Teen Safe Driving Foundation is pleased to announce the winner of the inaugural Don't Drive Distracted New Jersey (D3NJ) teen safe driving awareness campaign contest. After an extensive registration period, stage one campaign idea submission phase, public voting process and final submission phase, the winner is Nikhil Patel, a sophomore at Scotch Plains Fanwood High School. The announcement was made at an award ceremony held this morning to celebrate the conclusion of D3NJ and to honor all ten finalists for their hard work.
"It still hasn't sunk in," said Nikhil moments after hearing his name announced as the winner. "This is so exciting."
Nikhil's campaign "Drive2Live2Drive" was selected by the D3NJ panel of independent judges as the entry that would best raise awareness about the dangers young drivers face when behind the wheel of a car. As the grand prize winner, Nikhil was given a choice of either a new car or college scholarship. He chose the scholarship.
"Drive2Live2Drive" was chosen out of nine other finalist submissions. The campaign will next be produced and distributed by a grant from the DCH Teen Safe Driving Foundation.
"Nikhil's campaign connects with teens on a personal level," said Roy Bavaro, Executive Director of the DCH Teen Safe Driving Foundation. "It harnesses the power of social media to engage teens, parents and the general public. We can't wait for people to see this wonderful idea."
Eight of the ten finalists received a $100 runner up prize. Jonathan Lonski of East Brunswick High School, the second place finalist, received a $1000 college scholarship.
"All of our finalists presented excellent safe driving campaign ideas," said Susan Scarola, President of the DCH Teen Safe Driving Foundation. "They rose to the challenge of D3NJ and delivered some truly dynamic campaigns."
D3NJ is a teen safe driving awareness campaign and contest for high school students, the first of its kind by an auto retailer in New Jersey. Over 250 teens from across New Jersey registered to compete in the competition to bring awareness to the dangers of distracted driving.
The awards ceremony held at DCH Academy Honda, Old Bridge, also represents the DCH Teen Safe Driving Foundation's kickoff to Global Youth Traffic Safety Month (GYTSM). GYTSM is a world-wide awareness month held each May to focus on traffic related crashes, the leading cause of death for teens.
Since 2008, DCH Auto Group, in keeping with the company's core values, has focused its charitable giving, local community involvement and grass roots activism to the cause of teen safe driving. The auto retailer, with 29 car dealerships in New Jersey, New York, Connecticut and California, formed the DCH Teen Safe Driving Foundation earlier this year to further the company's message that distracted driving, especially among new and young drivers, is dangerous and potentially deadly.
For more information about the D3NJ safe driving awareness contest, please visit www.D3NJ.org or contact Roy Bavaro at 732-952-0218
About DCH Teen Safe Driving Foundation
The DCH Teen Safe Driving Foundation is a non-profit charitable organization dedicated to reducing the number of deaths and injuries resulting from teen related auto crashes by promoting safe driving through greater awareness, education and advocacy directed to teens and their parents.
SOURCE DCH Teen Safe Driving Foundation
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