National Road Safety Foundation Announces Winner of “Drive 2 Life” PSA Contest
The National Road Safety Foundation has announced the winner of its third annual “Drive 2 Life” PSA contest. The winning PSA, “Just because you can,” by Rebecca Rapin, a 17-year-old high school student from Hudsonville, MI, is airing on TV nationwide during May, to coincide with National Youth Traffic Safety Month. The PSA contest is also sponsored by Scholastic.
In a Drive 2 Life press release, David Reich, of The National Road Safety Foundation, says: “Rebecca’s idea was chosen because it clearly communicates a very simple yet important message that all young people and everyone who drives must understand.”
As the press release notes:
The ad, shot from the driver’s point-of-view, shows in an exaggerated way a variety of things that take the driver’s hands and eyes off the road. The driver is shown trying to steer with her elbows while holding a soda and fries, sending an email, checking a map, texting and making a call using an old rotary dial phone placed on the steering wheel. The screen fades to white as we hear the sound of tires squealing and a crash. A message appears that reminds drivers to keep ‘hands on the wheel and eyes on the road.’
Myron Kukla quotes Rapin in his article in MLive: “I was really surprised they picked mine.” Rapin told Kukla that she is considering a career in photography and graphic design when she graduates. Scholastic magazine will profile Rapin and the making of her winning PSA in its upcoming classroom magazines, which are used by more than 800,000 students and more than 50,000 teachers.
The press release quotes U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood, who said auto accidents are the number one killer of teens, with more than 5,000 young people dying every year and tens of thousands injured:
‘Every tragic crash caused by distracted driving is 100 percent preventable,’ he said. ‘If we’re serious about changing people’s behavior behind the wheel, then we need motivated young people like Rebecca to get involved and spread the word on film, at school, and in their community.’
In addition to Rapin’s winning PSA, the contest awarded a $500 prize to each of four runners-up. The two in the category for students in 6-8 grades are: Conor Joyce, 13, a 7th-grader at Hartford Middle School in White River Junction, VT, and Christopher Litrenta, 11, a 6th-grader at Neshannock Middle School in New Castle, PA.
And the two in the category for students in 8-12 grades are: Michelle Tansey, 18, a senior at Bishop Denis O’Connell School in Arlington, VA; and Stephanie Miller, 18, a senior at Careerline Tech Center in Holland, MI (the same school that grand-prize winner Rapin attends).
Here is the winning PSA:
Image by The National Road Safety Foundation, used under Fair Use: Reporting.