Saturday, April 6, 2019 -Springfield- Hampden District Attorney Anthony D. Gulluni announced the winners of his annual Stop the Swerve PSA and Billboard Challenge Competition at his annual Stop the Swerve event, which took place at the Basketball Hall of Fame on Thursday night.
Over 200 students, parents, teachers, and administrators attended this year’s event. The evening featured a screening of the DA’s Stop the Swerve video, which presents local, real life cases involving fatal crashes where the surviving drivers of the vehicles and family of victims present how these incidents significantly impacted their lives.
In addition to the video, students were able to participate in several interactive exhibits, consisting of: driving simulators, activities utilizing impairment goggles, and hands on first aid demonstrations, which were staffed by volunteers from the Gulluni’s Office, the Massachusetts State Police, and the Springfield Police Department. All students were also eligible for a raffle featuring gift cards and a $500 certificate for driving school.
The first place Public Service Announcement award was presented to Minnechaug Regional High School in the amount of $7,500 to use in upgrading the school’s technological capabilities. Second and third place awards were presented to second place Pope Francis High School and third place to White Oak School in the amounts of $5,000 and $2,500 respectfully.
All of this year’s public service announcements will be featured on WWLP 22 News’s website with the winner broadcast on air as a public service announcement.
For the second straight year, the winning billboard was submitted by the Springfield Conservatory of the Arts in the amount of $5,000. Second and third place prizes were given to Southwick Regional High School in the amount of $3,000 and a third place prize of $2,000 to Pope Francis High School. The winning billboard will also be featured as a billboard within Hampden County in the near future.
Hampden District Attorney Anthony D. Gulluni stated, “I am tremendously proud to present these awards to these young people and the schools they represent. All of the students involved did a superb job and helped meet our objective to prevent all forms of distracted and impaired driving and to ultimately save lives on the roads of this region. ”District Attorney Gulluni went on to say, “Our Stop the Swerve campaign aims to reach kids and young adults about the dangers of impaired, drunk, and drugged driving at a time when they are forming their driving habits, and will therefore make them life-long safe drivers.”
Earlier this year, area high school students had the opportunity to create a public service announcement or billboard highlighting the dangers of impaired driving. The entries were to be original, note the risks associated with drunk or drugged driving, and communicate messages about public safety.
The awards made to the winning schools can be used to improve technological equipment at their respective high schools.
The contest was made possible by a grant from the Drunk Driving Trust Fund which is administered by the Massachusetts Office of Victim Assistance.