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Local Students Receive National Recognition For Safe Driving App

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) - Today was an exciting day for a team of students at Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic High School.

The teens found out they were named the best in the nation in a Verizon innovative app challenge.

They created an app called, Safespeed, which is designed to keep young drivers safe and give parents peace of mind.

"We want to keep everyone else safe on the roads because teen crashes don't only affect the teens, but they affect also people that are in the car, as well as people that are on the road," sophomore Matt Esser said.

"Once you lose control of your vehicle, that's when bad things happen and speed plays a huge factor in losing control of your vehicle and so with this, we just want to prevent the speeding in the first place," Luke Madonna said.

Some of the students recently lost a friend in a car crash and that's really what sparked the idea for the app.

That, and the fact that 50 percent of teen crashes involve speeding.

Here how Safespeed works:

Teens and parents both download the app.

Through GPS and other technology, the app monitors speed and sends alerts if the driver is speeding.

That means parents at home can tell if their child is speeding or riding in the car with someone who is speeding.

"I know this app will be worth it, whatever price it is," Esser said.

The app will soon be brought to life. The teens will work with MIT media lab experts to do that.

For winning the competition, they received $20,000 for their school.

"They brought together not just hard work, but creativity and they saw a problem, they saw a need in the community and they came up with a solution," Principal Luke Crawford said.

The team is only one of eight in the country to be given this honor.

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