DEER LAKE A local drama club has won $2,000 for its video entry in a distracted driving contest.
No Stage Theatre of Elwood High created the video last spring to show how driving distractions, such as text messaging and eating, can be disastrous to drivers and those around them. The video was shot outside Elwood and shows the actors getting into a car and starting to drive away.
But the driver is sending a text message at the same time and not really looking where he is going. There’s food in the car and various other distractions, and his passengers all seem to be talking at once. As he starts to drive away, he hits a pedestrian.
Sponsors of the contest include the Provincial Safety Services organization and the Newfoundland and Labrador Injury Prevention Coalition. Safety Services president Len LeRiche visited Elwood to present the cheque. He told the students that as they are just starting to drive, they have helped get a very serious message across that he hopes they will take to heart.
“We have noted an increase in distracted driving over the last 10 years, with more technology coming out,” he said. “Studies have shown that texting while driving can have the same effects on driving as drinking alcohol so we hope you do not or have not developed bad habits while driving.”
The actors in the video, all from the Deer Lake area, include former students Aaron Patey and Erin Pearson, and current students Michaela Pye, Breanna Byrne and William Humphrey, the latter three of which say they agree with the film’s message.
Byrne said she has been guilty of the behaviour in the past but doesn’t plan on doing it again.
“I tried sending a text while driving and I almost hit a tree,” she said. “It’s something that people never think will happen to them, they never expect it until it does.”
The video will remain on Youtube and will be used by Safety Services NL for safety training purposes.