Skip to main content

Press Releases

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, March 19, 2024

High school students across Montgomery County have a message for their peers: “Put those phones away when driving or walking.” That theme was emphasized as the Montgomery County Department of Transportation (MCDOT) announced the winners of its 2024 “Heads Up, Phones Down” video contest. 

Anjolaoluwa Adeleke. of Walter Johnson High School was the grand prize individual winner. Erol Kalayoglu, Zachary Carter and Ian Ha of Montgomery Blair High School took the grand prize in the team category. 

The contest asked students to produce videos encouraging peers to not allow cell phones to distract them while driving and walking. The contest received 200 video entries. 

“Sometimes it works better to hear it from a peer—that’s why the “heads up phones down” peer messaging contest can help us keep our kids safe and avoid these unnecessary accidents,” said County Executive Marc Elrich. “Congratulations to the winners, and many thanks to the 200 who submitted entries -- we really appreciate it.” 

The contest was open to Montgomery County public and privatehigh school students. Entries were submitted either individually or as a groupof up to fourin English or Spanish. 

The MCDOT Pedestrian Safety team visited the schools of the grand prize winners on Friday to surprise the creators of the top entries with prizes, balloons and fanfare. 

A grand prize and first- and second runner-up prizes were awarded in the group and individual categories. Winning group submissions split the $800 grand prize, and $400 and $200 prizes for first and second place, with gift cards for each member. Individual submission winners qualified for prizes including an Apple MacBook Pro, an Apple Watch or a tripod. 

The contest winners, with links to their winning videos: 

Individual Winners 

Group Winners 

“In Maryland, more than 1,700 teens aged 15-19 are injured and 16 are killed annually from car crashes,” said MCDOT Director Chris Conklin. “Distracted driving is a key factor in many of these collisions. It’s not only risky behavior, but it can also be deadly. These videos help to get the message out to our teens and remind them of the need for attentiveness behind the wheel.” 

View the winning videos and photos of the winners on theHeads Up, Phones Down contest website at Pictures and video for media use can be found at Heads Up Phones Down Video Contest WINNERS 2024 | Flickr. 

For information on MCDOT programs and services, follow @MCDOTNow onX,FacebookandInstagramandsubscribeto MCDOT’s “Go Montgomery!” newsletter. 

#  #  # 


Release ID: 24-129
Media Contact: Emily DeTitta 240-372-2282
Categories: Transportation