Lee Co. student wins statewide PSA contest for distracted driving

Published: Mar. 15, 2018 at 3:28 AM EDT|Updated: Mar. 15, 2018 at 6:57 AM EDT
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(Source: WALB)
(Source: WALB)
Rhiannon Belcher (Source: WALB)
Rhiannon Belcher (Source: WALB)

LEESBURG, GA (WALB) - A production company out of New York is in Lee County shooting a public service announcement about the dangers of distracted driving.

They are there because a Lee County High school student is the designer of the PSA.

Rhiannon Belcher submitted her idea for the PSA and competed with over 100 students to win the statewide contest by the National Road Safety Program.

They liked Belcher's idea so much that they decided to turn it into a public service announcement for teens across the nation.

Rhiannon Belcher felt so passionately about distracted driving she wanted to do something about it.

After submitting her idea to the National Road Safety Program, she didn't know what would happen next.

"I didn't actually think I was going to win, so when I got the phone call I had to tell them to hold on a second and I just screamed," said Belcher.

The National Road Safety Program sent down a production crew from New York to film her PSA. It will be centered around a teen and her best friend being in the car and getting into the crash, leaving her best friend dead and her in a wheelchair.

"They wanted me to put as much emotion into my writing as I could to show how important it is nowadays for kids to not be on their phones because I know that's the number one thing," said Belcher.

Producers said Rhiannon's PSA lined up exactly with their mission.

"To educate young drivers specifically about the dangers of driving distracted, driving under the influence, making sure you wear a seat belt, not speeding," said Marilou Yacoub, a producer with National Road Safety Foundation.

Rhiannon said she knows she can't reach everyone but is hoping this PSA will make a difference in her community and across the country.

"But if you can reach that one person that you know might be on their phone, just one person is a making a lot of difference to me. That one person is still a life that you can save," said Belcher.

And the National Road Safety Program hopes this PSA will get teens talking.

"They found over the years that it is much better to have teens talking to teens versus adults talking to them," said Yacoub.

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