Journalism Sophomore Wins Second Place in National PSA Contest on Driving Safety

Columbia, Mo. (Aug. 30, 2010) — Missouri School of Journalism student Taylor Deeds was named the second-place winner in the 2010 Bridgestone Safety Scholars Video Contest. Entrants in the contest were asked to create an original 25- to 55-second public service announcement to promote automobile and driving safety. As one of the top three winners, Taylor receives a $5,000 scholarship and a new set of Bridgestone tires. The PSAs air on national television stations across the country.

Taylor Deeds
Taylor Deeds

Taylor, a sophomore from Springfield, Mo., chose to convey the dangers of drinking and driving in her video titled “I’m a Killer.” The PSA chronicles what can happen when a teenager incorrectly thinks he or she is in a safe state to drive and ends with three young people declaring themselves killers because they caused wrecks with fatalities.

“Everyone, not just my group of friends, constantly use the phrase ‘I’m perfectly fine’ when under the influence of alcohol,” Taylor said. “I wanted to incorporate this saying into my film to show the falsity behind it and how people really are not fine.”

Taylor feels her video has already made an impact on those who have seen it. Her friends catch themselves saying they are “perfectly fine,” and now realize when they aren’t.

“I feel like I have made a difference,” she said. “I like knowing that because of my video, I could be saving someone’s life, and that is all that matters. It’s a great feeling to know that you created something that will forever impact others around you.”

Taylor realized her love of film production and editing when she became involved in her high school’s media program. In 2009, she won the Mid-America High School Student Emmy award and placed second in the nation for a documentary on community placements after incarceration.

She decided to come to the Missouri School of Journalism because of her success in video and is studying strategic communication. She found out about the contest through an e-mail from the School and was motivated to enter as a way to thank and help her mom, who is paying for her education.

Now in its fourth year, the contest included 1,300 entries from 16- to 21-year-olds nationwide. Judges chose 10 finalists based on the basis of the idea, effectiveness of the message and creativity, and then the winners were chosen by an online popular vote with more than 12,400 voters.

The winning PSAs will air nationwide and are supported by Bridgestone Americas in cooperation with Driver’s Edge, a non-profit, hands-on safe driving course offered free to teens in select U.S. cities. The 2009 PSAs have aired more than 17,000 times on TV and cable stations across the U.S. and have reached more than 66 million viewers.

Updated: May 13, 2020

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