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National CAA Practise Safe Txt Video Contest Winner Announced

Distracted driving using cellphone while driving
January 13, 2012

OTTAWA – The Canadian Automobile Association (CAA) is pleased to announce that Maxime Lefrançois (Québec, Quebec) has been awarded the top prize in CAA’s national Practise Safe Txt youth video contest for his submission titled “Prends pas le risque” (Don’t take the chance/risk).

A panel of judges also awarded honourable mentions to the entries “One Second: A Connor Eberhard Film” (Smithville, Ontario) and “Don’t Become Another Statistic” (Winnipeg, MB) for their exceptional submissions.

Judges found Lefrançois’ 90-second video creative, accurate, and well executed.

The top video was selected from a pool of 10 quality entries by a national judging panel that consisted of Susan Harada, Associate Professor and Supervisor of Graduate Studies (School of Journalism & Communication, Carleton University), Daniel Lapointe, Chief Executive Officer of Katimavik, Constable Hugh Smith, Toronto Police Service, and two CAA representatives. Over 20,000 Canadian voted online to choose the Top Ten from among 64 total entries.

“The director took a very unique approach in terms of storyline. None of us expected that twist in the plot, and found that it really drew the viewer in,” said Harada. “The fact that the messaging focused on prevention made “Prends pas le risque” stand out among a group of high caliber entries.”

This fall, the CAA issued a call to action to youth from coast to coast, asking them to show their friends and family why it’s dangerous to text while driving. CAA research shows texting while driving is the number one road safety concern of Canadians, surpassing even impaired driving, and those most likely to text and drive are youth.

“CAA is committed to combatting texting while driving, and we’re thrilled so many young people contributed to the cause by taking the time to create a video, or watch them and vote,” said Jeff Walker, CAA vice president of public affairs. “We encourage everyone to take a look at these amazing videos and to think about the message.”

As part of its work on the issue, CAA will host an international conference on the issue of distracted driving, focusing primarily on the issue of cell phone use, on March 1, 2012 in Toronto. The one-day conference, co-sponsored by Canada’s Traffic Injury Research Foundation, will bring together leading international and Canadian experts to examine the spectrum of distracted driving issues including legislation and enforcement, in-vehicle technologies, and industry experiences. To find out more about the Driven to Distraction Conference, or to register, visit the conference site

To view all Practise Safe Txt video contest entries, including the Grand Prize submission, visit


Alayne Crawford
Manager of Public Affairs
[email protected]