NEW YORK, April 5, 2018 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- An eighth-grade student at Rincon Valley Charter School in Santa Rosa, Calif., has won the grand prize in the 8th annual Drive2Life PSA Contest, sponsored by The National Road Safety Foundation, Inc. (NRSF) and distributed nationwide to grades 6 through 12 by Scholastic, the global children's publishing, education and media company. This year's contest asked teens to be creative with messages to warn drivers about the dangers of speeding, which is a leading factor in traffic crashes.
Pavel Karabelov, age 13, submitted a script for a public service announcement (PSA) entitled "Cars Aren't Toys" to win the top prize out of 1,434 entries from throughout the nation. For his idea, he won a $1,000 prize and a trip to New York City to spend two days working with the Emmy Award-winning producers of the nationally syndicated TV series "Teen Kids News" to script, film and edit his winning PSA. The finished PSA will air during Global Youth Traffic Safety Month in May on more than 150 TV stations nationwide.
Karabelov's winning idea begins with a small child playing with a toy car, making speeding sounds and crashing it into a wall. We then see the child, a bit older, riding in a kiddie car, pedaling hard and yelling "faster, faster." We next see the child as a tween, steering a radio-controlled car, watching it crash as he goes too quickly.
Finally, we view a teen being handed the keys to a real car. Going too fast, the teen swerves to avoid hitting a cyclist, and we hear a crash as the screen fades to black. The words "Cars Aren't Toys. Don't Speed." flash on screen.
Karabelov said he got the idea for the PSA from when he was little and played with toy cars. He admitted he still likes toy cars, which made him realize that as we grow up, we have to learn that cars are not toys. "When we get a driver's license, we're given a tool," he said. "But many people use it the wrong way by speeding, and a good thing can become a disaster."
"Pavel's Drive2Life PSA concept stood out from so many great ideas we received from throughout the country," said Michelle Anderson of The National Road Safety Foundation. "His PSA reminds us to be responsible when we get behind the wheel, which is an important message for teens and adults alike."
In addition to being broadcast in May on "Teen Kids News," Karabelov's PSA and story will be featured in select fall issues of Scholastic classroom magazines, which reach nearly 25 million students nationwide. The PSA will also be viewable on The National Road Safety Foundation's websites at www.teenlane.org and www.nrsf.org.
Four runners-up were also selected in the nationwide Drive2Life competition, each winning a $500 prize. Runners-up in the Grades 6–8 category are Salada Alderman, age 14, of Cleveland, TN and Nicole Waters, 13, of Star, ID. Runners-up in grades 9–12 are Megan Casey, 18, of Springfield, OH and Sarah Stanley, 15, of Lehi, UT.
The National Road Safety Foundation, Inc., a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization founded more than 55 years ago, produces traffic safety programs on distracted driving, speed and aggression, impaired driving, drowsy driving, driver proficiency, pedestrian safety and a host of other safety issues. It distributes the programs free of charge to schools, police and traffic safety advocates, community groups and individuals. It also sponsors contests to engage teens in promoting safe driving to their peers and in their communities. For information and to download free programs, visit www.nrsf.org or www.teenlane.org.
SOURCE The National Road Safety Foundation