Montgomery County promotes teen road safety with ‘Heads Up Phones Down’ video contest

"Heads Up, Phones Down." That’s the idea behind the Montgomery County Department of Transportation’s contest for a second year that is geared toward teens and road safety.

The high school video contest will be accepting entries of 30-second Public Service Announcements through March 31.

County public and private high school students are eligible to submit contest videos. Entries can be submitted individually or from a group of up to four students. Videos can be submitted in English or Spanish.

Submissions will be grouped by individual projects and group projects. Individual entries can win an Apple MacBook Air, an Apple Watch or a tripod. Winning group submissions will split an $800 grand prize, $400 second prize and $200 third prize, with a Visa gift card for each member.   

"If you look down for even a split second you're taking your eyes off the road, which is a very dangerous thing to do," said last year's winner Deno Shao. 

"At Vision Zero, it's very important to get the message into our communities about the dangers of it, with our main goal that we want to end all road deaths by 2030," said Vision Zero Youth Ambassador Brandon Estrada. "Teens, some of them are just getting on the road for the first time and it can be scary. We don't need the extra distractions from our phones." 

Students can submit their entries on the online entry form here. Students may also qualify for up to five Student Service Learning (SSL) hours for successfully completing an entry. 

According to Duwan Morris with MCDOT, last year’s contest received 170 entries.

"Right now, we're looking at 50 applications just halfway through the contest so far," said Morris. 

Winning contestants will be visited by MCDOT staff and will have their videos posted on MCDOT’s Safe Routes to School website on Friday, April 14. 

Visit the contest website for more information at