Life and death hangs in the balance in '51 Borrowed Power PSA

What was happening in 1951? Among other things, the Korean War, Mickey Mantle's first game for the New York Yankees, average home prices of $9,000, gasoline prices of 19 cents a gallon and the AC Ace and Ford Country Squire greeted the world. It was also the year for this public service announcement, Borrowed Power, a production of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety and Pennsylvania State College.

The tale centers around young Jerry, a model pedestrian and bike rider growing up and the epitome of good sportsmanship and manners at school and around town. When he gets in a car, though, and "borrows" all that power that is not his own, he turns into a fiend and a miscreant who believes that if you want something on the road you just have to take it, since everyone else is doing it.

Then he hits a pedestrian at a stop sign and things turn dark, especially since this was back when blocking a crosswalk was a driving offense that police would bring up as a measure of poor driving acumen. What follows is the tale of Jerry having to answer to the law for his actions. As far as courtroom drama goes it's not exactly Twelve Angry Men, but as a time capsule, it's fascinating. You can watch it below.

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