Statewide pumpkin carving contest hopes to keep teens safeon Halloween night

HAMPTON ROADS, Va. (WAVY) — Youth of Virginia Speak Out About Traffic Safety (YOVASO) and the Virginia State Police are encouraging teens to make good choices this Halloween with a pumpkin carving contest.

The campaign’s focus is to prevent a tragedy on what is supposed to be a fun night for youth.

YOVASO is taking the campaign virtual with the #ProtectYourPumpkin Pumpkin Carving Contest. The only requirement for participation is to include a safety message (i.e. Buckle Up, Slow Down, etc.) and “YOVASO” on the pumpkin, and tag @_yovaso_ on social media with #ProtectYourPumpkin.

Those who do not have social media can submit their entry to YOVASO by completing a simple entry form.

The contest is open for anyone to participate, however on youth ages 11-20 are eligible for prizes.

Pumpkin entries are due to YOVASO by October 31, 2020 at midnight. YOVASO will pick 10 pumpkins for public voting November 2-4, 2020. Voting will close at noon on the 4th. The five entries with the most votes will each receive a $25 Amazon Gift Card.

Nationwide, between 2014 and 2018, there were 145 drunk-driving fatalities on Halloween night (6 p.m. October 31 – 5:59 a.m. November 1).* According to NHTSA, 41% of all people killed in motor vehicle crashes on Halloween night from 2014 to 2018 were in crashes involving a drunk driver.