Page last updated at 12:13 GMT, Tuesday, 25 August 2009 13:13 UK

Text drive film to 'shock' pupils


The film shows how a brief lapse in concentration can have devastating consequences

A shocking video has been made for pupils in an attempt to stop car crashes caused by the driver texting while driving.

The short film, starring young actors from south Wales, shows a teenage girl killing four people after she uses her mobile phone to send a text.

Gwent Police said it hoped the graphic video would be shown in schools around Wales and hopefully the rest of the UK.

Research has shown texting while driving slows reaction time by 35%.

The film by Peter Watkins-Hughes has also been posted on video sharing website You Tube.

It shows in slow motion a crash caused after a girl, called Cassie, briefly loses concentration of the road while looking at her mobile.

It also includes footage of all the emergency services attending the crash scene, including the air ambulance and firefighters.


Cassie Cowan dreams that she is trapped in a car that is filling with water in the opening minutes of the film

Gwent Police said it "facilitated" the crash between two cars in a bid to prevent future accidents caused by all people, but particularly young and new drivers.

Lyn Samuel, Gwent Police's school liaison coordinator, said the film was a "very impactive road safety educational tool to help reduce the number of collisions involving young drivers across Wales".

Ch Insp John Pavett from Gwent Police Roads Policing Unit said texting and driving was happening on roads all over the country, despite the fact it is illegal.

He said: "I hope that after watching this film motorists will think twice before picking up their mobile phone when behind the wheel and realise that a quick reply to a text message or answering a phone call is never worth putting theirs and other people's lives at risk."

Recent RAC Foundation research showed reaction times slowed by 35% when 17 to 24-year-olds drove while reading and writing text messages.

And its research last year showed that texting while driving impairs motorists more than being under the influence of drink or drugs.

It said nearly 50% of drivers aged between 18 and 24 texted while driving.

As well as reaction times being slower, it said texters often drifted out of lanes, had poorer steering control and the overall driving performance was poor.

Drivers face a £60 fine and three penalty points on their licence for using hand-held mobile phones.

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