Ford and Kate Voegele Kick Off ‘Belt It Out’ Competition

American manufacturer Ford and One Tree Hill’s Kate Voegele teamed up to invite teens in taking part to a song-writing competition.

The ‘Belt it Out’ competition is part of the carmaker’s nationwide Ford Driving Skills for Life (FDSFL) program. Kate is asking teens to write their own songs that promote safe driving behaviors.

The most creative and effective song will be selected in spring 2010, winning a $5,000 worth top prize.

"Music is such a great outlet and this gives teens a chance to create their own music about something important in their lives," Voegele said.

"I am doing this to encourage people my age to stay focused on their future and to understand the importance of their own driving behaviors. They need to learn to avoid driving distractions such as hand-held texting. Maybe music can help them remember that," she added.

The training methods created by the FDSFL are designed to help teens recognize and avoid driving distractions such as manually dialing a phone or texting.

"Teens listen to their friends and music more than anything else, which is why we are combining the two so our youngsters can help stop their friends from hand-held texting while driving," said Jim Graham, community relations manager of Ford Motor Company Fund.

The initiative comes soon after Ford became the first automaker to endorse a federal ban on manually sending text messages on hand-held devices while driving.

According to the carmaker, car crashes are the leading cause of death for teens in America, claiming nearly 5,000 lives each year.
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