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News from President Toni Preckwinkle

Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart honors teen creators of safe driving videos

A dozen high school students were honored by the Cook County Sheriff Thomas J. Dart on Friday for their work in promoting safe driving among their peers. Winners of the first-ever “Heads Up Video Challenge” were named during an event at the Daley Center.

Anders Gustafson, Adrian Paladin, Jack Schalke, Luis Gonzalez and Sarah Brooks of Maine West High School were honored with the winning entry for their video “Xtreme Distracted Driving.”

The video features different teenagers doing unimaginable and impossible things while driving, such as folding laundry, playing a ukulele and preparing a meal. It ends by pointing out how doing anything that may distract you while driving, even using your cell phone, is extreme and can have the same outcome as the different ‘crazy’ scenarios that were featured in the film.  Thanks to their hard work, the Des Plaines high school will be awarded $500 to support future safe driving initiatives.

Taking second-place honors in the contest were Lisandra Villegas, Neema Webber, Maria Andrade, Shantell Lumpkins and Tuseama Lee of Phoenix Military Academy High School in Chicago.

That school will receive $250 for continuing safe driving programs. Taking third place were Yanely Perez and Jesus Arciga of Eisenhower High School in Blue Island. Their school will receive $100 to support their safe driving programs.

Last fall, Dart called on area high school students to submit a 30-60 second video to promote safe, non-distracted driving practices among teens.  Videos were uploaded to the Sheriff’s website between November and January, with online voting following on various social networking websites, linked through the Sheriff’s Office website.

The first-ever effort also drew entries from Taft High in Chicago, South Elgin High and Thornridge High in Dolton. Nearly 2,000 people voted online, with all students limited to one vote each.