Texting & Driving film gets BBC TV premiere
COW, the graphic texting & driving public information film which we discussed on the Latics blog in August is being given its TV premiere by BBC Wales next week after becoming a global hit on the internet.
The film stars young actors from south Wales and shows a teenager killing four people in a crash when she sends a text from her mobile phone whilst driving.[youtube 8I54mlK0kVw]
Filmmaker Peter Watkins-Hughes produced it for Gwent Police as an educational tool for young drivers. It will be broadcast for the first time on BBC Two Wales on Monday 2nd November at 10pm (Sky Channel 991).
Using a mobile phone at the wheel has been an offence in the UK since 2006 and although people are aware of the laws, many, it seems, still ignore the dangers of texting whilst driving.
The dramatic film, nicknamed ‘COW’, graphically highlights the consequences of texting at the wheel as it follows fictional schoolgirl girl Cassie Cowan. Losing concentration behind the wheel while she texts, she and her mates are involved in a horrific crash.
COW is hard hitting, brutal and extremely graphic, which has already caused lots of controversy.
Director Peter Watkins-Hughes has defended the film’s violence: “Yes it is violent, but the reality of a fatal road accident is much more gruesome. If you’re old enough to drive, you’re old enough to be aware of the real and serious risks one places oneself in every time you get behind the wheel.”
A four minute clip from the film has been viewed by millions of viewers on YouTube, gaining global attention.
Chief constable of Gwent Police, Mick Giannasi has said he is astonished and encouraged by the way the film has spread, and has received calls and emails from people from across the world saying how moved they were by the film.
“Young people think they can text in autopilot because they do it so instinctively,” he said.
“For that reason we need to use strong imagery to make them to sit up and take notice.”
Recently, RAC Foundation research found that reaction times slowed by 35% when 17 to 24-year-olds drove while reading and writing text messages. The research also showed that texting while driving impairs motorists more than being under the influence of drink or drugs while driving. Sadly, the research also found that nearly 50% of drivers aged between 18 and 24 text while driving.
‘Cow’will be shown on BBC Two Wales on Monday 2 November at 2200 GMT.
We welcome your comments on the film.