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Indiana Teen Wins $2,000 in Drowsy Driving PSA Contest

Kaitlyn Webber, 16, of Hobart, IN, has been named winner of the fifth annual Drive Safe Chicago PSA Contest. Webber, a student at Porter County Career Center in Valparaiso, won $2,000 from The National Road Safety Foundation for her script for a 30-second TV public service announcement about the dangers of drowsy driving.

Drowsy driving is a factor in crashes that kill more than 5,000 people every year and injure more than 500,000.

The contest, run by The National Road Safety Foundation, a non-profit that promotes safe driving, drew more than 100 entries and three finalists were selected. The National Road Safety Foundation then worked with them to make their scripts into finished TV spots, which were posted on the Chicago Auto Show’s Facebook page, where the public voted online for their favorite PSA. The winning message will debut at the Chicago Auto Show before airing nationwide on more than 160 TV stations.

Logan Conner, 18, of Ft. Wayne, was first-runner-up and won $1,000.  Johnathan Dakota Culver, 16, of LaFontaine, IN won $500 as second runner-up. 

“We salute Kaitlyn and the other finalists in the Drive Safe Chicago contest,” said Ray Scarpelli Jr., 2019 Chicago Auto Show chairman. “Today’s new cars have technology to warn drivers if they appear to be drowsy, but the ultimate responsibility to be awake and alert is with the driver. It is an important message not only for young people but for all drivers, and we are pleased that our finalists showed such great creativity to communicate it."

Kaitlyn’s video instructor at Porter County Career Center, Robert Phelps, has had students as finalists or winners in each of the previous Drive Safe Chicago contests.

"Young people need more sleep than adults, yet too many of them don’t get enough sleep," said Michelle Anderson of The National Road Safety Foundation. "They think they can function and drive on minimal sleep, but they can’t.  Kaitlyn’s PSA uses humor to communicate an important drowsy driving message to her peers and to all drivers.” 

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