Student-Created PSAs Warn Teens about Distracted Driving

Two TV/Film students from Brentwood High School are using their talents to warn others about the dangers of distracted driving.

Last summer, BHS senior Barrett Hall and junior Casey Crowe began work on several Public Service Announcements (PSAs). It began as part of an effort by the WCS Communications Department to educate teen drivers about the issue.

“I was made aware of the project by my broadcasting teacher Ronnie Adcock,” said Barrett. “As someone who has watched countless PSAs, I wanted to do something different to make ours stand out.”

Under the tutelage of WCS Video Producer Stephen Chessor, the students wrote, produced, directed, recorded and edited three spots.

“We really appreciate the assistance from the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office and Williamson Medical Center,” Chessor said. “They really helped the students give these videos a strong message.”

The students’ first video deals specifically with Snapchat.

“Through my research I learned that Snapchat has been the cause of many teen crashes,” said Barrett. “I know that everyone my age uses Snapchat religiously, so being able to have a platform to share this made me very excited.”

Barrett and Casey worked together on the second PSA which they titled It’s Not Just a Part of High School. In this video, a group of students are traveling home late at night. Things go wrong when the driver becomes distracted while behind the wheel.

The third PSA was created by Casey, and it depicts the aftermath of a crash at school crosswalk. Casey says he wanted to drive home the message that a person’s life can change in an instant when he or she is behind the wheel of a car and that no matter how important something might seem, it can wait.

“As a result of new technology entering our lives everyday, it becomes easier and easier to become distracted while driving,” said Casey. “There is nothing sadder than a life cut short, which is why I think these PSAs are especially important for high school students.”

Both students say working on these projects opened their eyes to some of the challenges facing teen drivers.

“We knew we had a special insight into what would resonate with most students,” said Casey. “When pre-producing and producing these videos, we made it our goal to make them as realistic as possible to dispel any questions of authenticity.”

And although they’re aimed at teens, Barrett says he hopes all drivers will take away something from the message.

“These PSAs really go out to everyone,” said Barrett. “I see adults who drive just as bad as kids. Our hope is that these videos will play a small role in making the roads safer for people who drive.”

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