How do you get teens thinking about the dangers of drinking and driving and distracted driving? Ask Joe Bornstein. As a personal injury lawyer, Bornstein has seen the horrific firsthand effects of dangerous driving.
When his eldest child was able to get a driver’s license, Bornstein decided to focus on educating the most vulnerable drivers and their friends and passengers.
The Arrive Alive Creative Contest is an ongoing project now in its 11th year. Every spring Bornstein asks Maine high school seniors to enter creative projects depicting the dangers of drinking and driving and distracted driving around the “Stay Safe and Arrive Alive!” theme.
Projects can be presented in various mediums – videos, original songs, drawings, paintings, photos, essays, poems and more.
In the past 10 years, the Law Offices of Joe Bornstein has given away more than $85,000 in prizes as a way to help educate teenage drivers in their formative years. Two award ceremonies are held each spring –in northern Maine and in southern Maine; the top 20 winners along with two guests are invited to attend.
“With the prevalence of cell phones, smart phones, tablets and other mobile devices, now is the right time to educate the community about the potential dangers in the ways we all communicate,” says Henri Benoit II, a colleague of Bornstein’s, who nominated him for the 2014 Trial Lawyers Care Award.
The Trial Lawyers Care Award is presented by the American Association for Justice to a trial lawyer who has significantly contributed to his/her community through volunteer and charitable activities that serve the public. Bornstein was a 2014 finalist.
For over 40 years, Bornstein and his law firm have represented more than 22,000 injured and disabled Mainers including those affected by drunk driving and distracted driving. This is a subject about which he can speak from experience and with much credibility to make a lasting effect on both teenagers and drivers of all ages.
While parents and teachers have long lectured teens about safe driving, the Arrive Alive Creative Contest gets teenagers to think about existing dangers and to develop memorable messages that can not only win them a new laptop, but also potentially save the lives of friends or loved ones.
Bornstein also gives back to his community leasing the most recognized electric sign in Portland, Maine, which reigns on top of a tall building known locally as the Time and Temperature building. He donates space on the sign to non-profit organizations so that they can display their messages. In addition, over the past decade, Bornstein’s law office has donated more than $750,000 to Maine charities.