Biola University sophomore film and music major, Zach King, entered Bridgestone Americas’ Safety Scholars Teen Driver Video Contest alongside hundreds of other students across the country who grabbed their video cameras in hopes of saving lives — and winning a $2,500 scholarship. The contest employed entrants to create videos about auto safety and how to be more environmentally conscious when using a vehicle.

King’s video entry won the special Critics’ Choice award chosen by a judging panel that reviewed contest submissions. The other three grand prize winners were determined based on the number of votes they received on the contest web site.

The winning videos ranged from a rap video to personal stories. King’s video showed two teenage girls driving in a car listening to loud music on their IPod. They swerved into another lane and then caused a serious crash. The video ends with “Drive safe. Drive responsibly. Love life.” spelled across the scene.

“A friend of mine was involved in a serious car accident while speeding on a bridge, so my inspiration [for the video] came from that,” King said. “This video portrays the importance of driving responsibly and safely,” he told Bridgestone.

The story struck a strong chord with the judges and most likely will with viewers, hence why the video was picked for a Critics’ Choice award since it may be used as a public service announcement on television stations nationwide.

“At first I didn't win, I was kind of disappointed…but when I was driving down to Biola from Portland I got a call while driving through Bakersfield,” said King. “She said the company loved the video so much that they wanted to give me the [Critic’s Choice] award. I was so excited,” he said.

“For the past three years, Safety Scholars has proven to be one of the most effective ways for us to communicate our automotive safety message to teens,” said Christine Karbowiak, executive vice president, community and corporate Relations, Bridgestone Americas, Inc.

King will receive a set of Bridgestone or Firestone brand tires and a $2,500 college scholarship. The contest was open to entrants between 16 and 21 years old.

These public service announcements are supported by Bridgestone Americas in cooperation with Driver’s Edge, a national non-profit organization which provides free classroom and behind-the-wheel defensive driving instruction for teens in cities across the United States.

Read the Auto Channel’s article on the contest.

Watch Zach King’s winning entry, Sister Sonata.

Written by Jenna Bartlo, Media Relations Coordinator. Jenna can be reached at (562) 777-4061 or through email at