By Ethan Colbert
Students at Bowling Green High School are hoping that a 30-second Public Service Announcement that they created for a Missouri Department of Transportation-sponsored contest will help to curb the number of teenager drivers distracted behind the wheel.
The contest, which has the theme of “It Only Takes One,” is designed to help high school-age drivers better understand the dangers of unsafe driving habits.
According to a press release from the state transportation department, distracted driving remains the primary reason that car crashes are the number one killer of teens.
In an interview with the Bowling Green Times, students enrolled in Kim Luebrecht’s Broadcast Video course said they already knew the perils of distracted driving.
“We already knew that it was bade and what could happen because of (distracted driving), because we have had people in our school who have been hurt or who have died because of being distracted while driving,” Bilhartz said. “The video just made it more visual.”
The video, which has been uploaded onto the social media platform of YouTube, features students texting while driving, eating or drinking while driving, and other examples of distracted driving.
The video also depicts students bloodied from a mock car crash.
The students filmed the video over three days and then edited the video into the 30-second timeframe in an additional day.
“I think at first that none us really wanted to do it,” Bilhartz said. “We thought that the PSA sounded intense. Then, once we started doing it and realized all of the different things we could do with this then it started getting more interesting.”
With their video now screened by their peers, student Kinley Charlton said she hopes her fellow students took time to actually realize the true message of the video.
“People always tell you not to drive distracted, but hopefully seeing people you know in the video hits them like, “Whoa, this could actually happen to people that you know and that makes it more realistic.”
The video has now been submitted into the statewide contest and the class has their eyes set to win the first-place cash prize of $500.
According to Luebrecht, the prize money would be used to purchase new video equipment.
Regardless of the cash prize, Luebrecht said she hopes that will only inspire next year’s Broadcast Video students on what they would do to spread the message of not driving distracted as she plans to enter the contest every year that it is offered.