Arizona teen wins first ‘Drive To Life’ PSA Contest

February 24, 2010

| More

bethany brownBethany Brown, 16, wins trip to New York City to help film director make her winning idea into a PSA

A 16-year old Arizona high school student has won the first annual Drive to Life PSA Competition, organized by The National Road Safety Foundation, Inc. (NRSF) and National Organizations for Youth Safety (NOYS).

Bethany Brown, a junior at Bella Vista Private School in Cave Creek, won the nationwide competition, which drew entries from Maine to Hawaii. Young people were invited to submit ideas for TV public service announcements that address major youth traffic safety issues including distracted driving, drinking and driving, speeding and aggressive driving. Judging was done by NRSF staff and its film director, and a panel of young people from NOYS
In addition to receiving a $1,000 scholarship, Brown is invited for an expenses-paid trip to New York City, where she will spend three days assisting award-winning film director Mark Sadan as he produces a PSA using her idea. The 30-second spot will air on national television after its debut in May during National Youth Traffic Safety Month.

Brown's entry, called "Redo," envisions a teen responding to a text message while driving, which causes her to crash into an oncoming car. The scene rewinds and begins again, but this time the driver ignores the buzzing cell phone as she safely passes the car she had hit in the first scene. A text message is shown on screen, saying "There are no redo's in real life.”

"We are extremely impressed with the ideas we received from so many creative young people," said NRSF operations director Michelle Anderson. "Clearly, they understand the potentially devastating consequences of bad driving habits like texting while driving."

"Our goal is to engage young people in communicating important safe driving messages in their own voice," added Sandy Spavone, NOYS executive director. "We want to empower youth to become an integral part of youth traffic safety education and public awareness efforts."

"When you get behind the wheel, your focus should be on the road and safety should be your number one priority,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. "This is especially important for teens, who are less experienced behind the wheel." The Department of Transportation says traffic crashes are the leading killer of teens, with more than 5,000 dying annually.

Four runners-up, each to receive a $500 scholarship, were also announced. In the 13 – 16 age category, runners-up are Ali Nemcovich, 16, of Bishop Brady High School in Franklin, NH; and Samuel Tasseff, 16, of Perry Meridian High School in Indianapolis.

Runners-up in the 17-21 group are Malarie Wells, 18, of Weslaco High School in Weslaco, TX; and Anna Laura Clements, 19, of the University of Kentucky.

More information about the Drive to Life PSA Competition is available at or The winning PSA will be posted for viewing on both sites.