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Teens invited to enter contest for TV safe-driving commercials

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety and AAA are calling for Minnesota teenagers to produce TV commercials that promote the importance of "speaking up" when riding with friends who engage in unsafe activities behind the wheel.

Traffic crashes are the leading cause of death for teenagers, eclipsing the death total of the next four causes combined.

In May, judges will post the top spots online for a public viewing and voting period to determine a winner. AAA will award a grand prize of $1,000 for the winning producer, $600 for second place and $400 for third place. The winning spot will also make its TV broadcast premiere this summer on programming to be determined.

Minnesota students in grades 9-12 are eligible to enter. The 30-second spots are due April 21; winners will be announced in May.

Teens are encouraged to post their spots on popular video-sharing Web sites and social networking pages and share with other students. Rules and entry forms are available at