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National Road Safety Foundation Announces Winner of Fourth Annual Drive Safe Chicago PSA Contest at Chicago Auto Show

The National Road Safety Foundation announced the winner of its 2018 Drive Safe Chicago PSA contest Friday during the 2018 Chicago Auto Show Media Preview. Haynen Johnson, 17, a student at Porter County Career Center in Valparaiso, Indiana, was awarded $2,000 and recognized for developing a public service announcement about the dangers of distracted driving.

In addition to receiving a $2,000 prize from The National Road Safety Foundation, a non-profit group that promotes safe driving, the winner’s message will debut at the 2018 Chicago Auto Show before airing nationwide on more than 150 TV stations. 

The contest, now in its fourth year, invited teens from the Chicago area to write a script for a public service message about the dangers of distracted driving, which kills more than 3,300 people every year. Three finalists were selected, and each student worked with an Emmy Award-winning director to make their scripts into finished 30-second TV spots.

“Even as today's cars have technical innovations that help avoid crashes and protect occupants in the event of one, distracted driving continues to be a major risk for drivers,” said 2018 Chicago Auto Show Chairman John Hennessy.  “All of the Drive Safe Chicago finalists communicate the important message that distracted driving is dangerous driving."

Johnson’s winning video, titled “Tasteless,” shows a teen eating a burger and having a soft drink while he tries to drive. As he juggles the food, he drops the drink and reaches down to pick it up. We hear a car horn honking and the driver looks up in horror as he says “Whoa!” The screen goes black as the words “Distracted Driving is Tasteless” come up.

"Haynen’s winning video communicates an important message that distracted driving is more than texting and cellphones,” said Michelle Anderson of The National Road Safety Foundation. "It shows that even something as commonplace as eating is not something to do while driving. Driving is not something that can be multi-tasked." 

All three of this year’s finalists are students of Bob Phelps at the Porter County Career Center in Valparaiso, Indiana. The runners-up are Cheyanne Montozzi, 18, of Hebron, Indiana, and Lauren Royter, 17, of Kouts, Indiana.

The winning PSA can be viewed on the Chicago Auto Show’s YouTube page.
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