Franklin teen’s PSA against texting while driving to be on thousands of billboards

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Jami Pandiscio’s warning against texting while on the road will be hard for drivers to miss.

The Franklin teenager’s public service announcement design will be on billboards nationwide through the end of the year, after she won a national contest through Project Yellow Light.

“I saw some texting and driving … in high school,” said Pandiscio, 18, in explaining why she entered the contest. “I’d constantly remind people to put their phones down, and I wanted to make a real difference, nationwide.”

Project Yellow Light was started to honor Hunter Garner, after the then-16-year-old and his friend died in a car crash in 2007, according to the program’s website. This is the ninth year of the contest, which is aimed at cutting down on distracted driving.

Photo: Heather McCarron

The project partners with several national organizations, including the Ad Council, AT&T — and that company’s related “It Can Wait” program — and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Pandiscio was one of just six winners throughout the country this year, among 2,163 entries. One high school student and one college student is chosen for each of three categories — television, billboard and radio.

Other winners this year were from Texas, Virginia and Maryland.

The winning billboard designs are put up on nearly 2,000 Clear Channel Outdoor digital billboards until the end of the year. The billboard and radio winners also get $2,000 in scholarship funds, while the television ad winners see $8,000.

iHeartMedia broadcasts the radio ads.

Pandiscio’s design features a large pair of cartoon eyes, and the words “On the road. Not your phone.”

“I kind of got hooked on the idea of using an emoji,” she said, “because we target teenagers, and teenagers are obsessed with emojis.”

Pandiscio’s brother Kyle, now 23, won the same contest a few years ago, Pandiscio said.



“I thought it was so cool to see his design come to life all around the country,” Pandiscio said. “We’d be driving on the highway and his billboard would be there.”

The closest of the billboards expected to show Pandiscio’s design is in Wrentham, according to Clear Channel Outdoor representatives.

Drivers should be able to see them both from Rte. 1, near the plaza containing the 110 Grill.

Pandiscio graduated from Franklin High School this year, and plans to attend the University of Connecticut.

Source: Alison Bosma

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