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Three Area Teens Named Finalists in Drive Safe Chicago Contest

Three teens have been selected by the National Road Safety Foundation (NRSF) as finalists in the eighth Drive Safe Chicago public service announcement contest, in partnership with the Chicago Auto Show.  Teens from Illinois and surrounding states submitted ideas for a 30-second PSA to help get the word out to empower passengers to speak up when in a vehicle being driven dangerously.

The three finalists are Kennedy Helmkamp, 15, a student at Gillespie High School in Gillespie, Illinois; Brooklin Walker, 17, who attends the Kokomo Area Career Center in Kokomo, IN; and Tayler Washington, 17, a student at Merrillville High School, Merrillville, IN. 

Each finalist will work with an Emmy Award-winning producer to transform their PSA submissions into 30-second TV public service announcements.  The finished spots will then be published on the Chicago Auto Show’s Facebook page, where the public can vote for their favorite through Feb. 8.  Winners will be announced at the Chicago Auto Show’s media day, Feb.10.   The winner will receive $2,000 and have his or her PSA shown nationally on Teen Kids News, reaching more than 160 TV stations across the country. The first runner-up will be awarded $1,000 and the second runner-up will receive $500.   

“We thank the students who are finalists in the Drive Safe Chicago contest for their compelling scripts that we hope will empower passengers to speak up when in a vehicle being driven dangerously,” said Michelle Anderson, director of operations, National Road Safety Foundation.

The National Road Safety Foundation has been leading an ongoing nationwide campaign to encourage passengers to speak up. A comprehensive website, at, has been created that created that contains background information, a tool kit on how to start your own campaign and suggestions for how passengers can interact with a dangerous driver. Statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration show 62 percent of traffic fatalities nationwide are passengers.

For more information on the Drive Safe Chicago contest, visit: For information about the Chicago Auto Show, visit

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