ABERDEEN, S.D. (KELO) — Dabbling in video production isn’t something Katelyn Ryan had ever considered doing.
But when a fellow student encouraged the Aberdeen Central senior to enter a teen driving safety contest, she gave it a try.
“I sat down for about five minutes, thought about what I’d want to see on TV as a teen driver,” Ryan said.
Ryan’s idea for a public service announcement ended up winning a national contest.
The #DrivingSkills101 challenge is sponsored by Students Against Destructive Decisions and the National Road Safety Foundation.
“We wanted to show teens how they can be empowered to speak up if someone is driving recklessly, but Katelyn was able to incorporate real life scenarios that teens experience when they’re with their friends, going to prom, going to graduation,” said Michelle Anderson with the National Road Safety Foundation.
Part of Ryan’s prize was working with a production crew to bring her idea to life.
The PSA features Aberdeen Central student as the actors.
One of the scenes starts with some teens on their way to sports tryouts.
“In the beginning scenes, they’re driving and something unsafe is happening. And then one of the characters says something that they would miss if they were to get in a fatal car accident,” Ryan said.
Ryan hopes the video sends a powerful message to other teens.
“As teenagers, driving is one of the most dangerous things that we do, and we all have to take it extremely seriously,” Ryan said.
“I think they need to know that when they’re out with their friends or whatever it is that they’re doing behind the wheel, they have to be safe no matter what. It’s precious cargo on board and everybody’s important including themselves,” School Resource Officer John Kirnan said.
This PSA just might help drive that message home.
“It is so much more effective to have young people give messages to their peers. Peer to peer education works,” Anderson said.
“Sometimes when adults tell us things, we don’t always take it as seriously because it feels like they’re acting like they know more or talking down to us, but when a peer says it I feel like we really do listen,” Ryan said.
Local teens won’t be the only ones watching the PSA.
It will air on Teen Kids News starting next month, spreading this safety message to young drivers all over the country.
Next week is Teen Driver Safety Week.
Aberdeen Central will host an event including a showing of Ryan’s video, a mock crash, and a rollover simulator trailer.