Distracted driving message from Elwood High theatre club's video still relevant

Chris Quigley
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A screengrab is shown from No Stage Theatre’s dangers of distracted driving video on YouTube, where soon-to-be victim William Humphrey can be seen through the vehicle’s front windshield.

It’s been about two years since William Humphrey was “run down” by a car.

“I was the one that got ran over ... or, supposedly ran over,” he said with a laugh, as he discussed the video he and his friends in Elwood Regional High School’s drama club, No Stage Theatre, shot.

They created the video for a contest held by the Newfoundland Labrador Injury Prevention Coalition and Safety Services Newfoundland Labrador, which the club actually won. They received a cash prize and their winning video, entitled “It Doesn’t Take Much to Get Distracted,” was uploaded to YouTube.

More of a behind-the-scenes technical guy than an actor, Humphrey wasn’t keen on playing a major role in the short clip.

“I was like, ‘Give me the smallest part,’” he said. “I just had to lie down, basically.”

Now 17 and in his final year of high school, the message of the video still carries meaning for Humphrey, who was 15 when it was shot.

“I think it’s very important, because there are a lot of deaths and injuries through driving that are easily preventable,” said the son of Leslie and Paula.

“I think it’s a strong message that comes off.”

See related: Your Health Matters — Focus on road safety

Since that initial video, the group has entered more contests, tackling such subjects as safety in the workplace and healthy eating.

“But the driving one was the first one,” Humphrey said. “It only took us about two or three takes. It wasn’t too bad.”

Another current Level 3 student at Elwood, Samantha Janes, was involved in the video, also when she was 15. She stayed behind the camera, but remembers the shoot well.

“It was all about being more careful when you’re driving,” she said. “To pay attention, because it’s easy to get distracted.”

The daughter of Terri Reid and Jody Janes, Samantha said it was great to develop a video that carried such an vital message. She didn’t know firsthand of anyone who took their particular video to heart, but said it was something that could potentially reach just about anyone.

“It’s an everyday thing,” she said. “People are constantly getting hurt, getting in crashes, just because of that simple little distraction like eating or cell phones or music.”

Twitter: WS_CCQ

Organizations: Elwood High theatre, Regional High School, No Stage Theatre Newfoundland Labrador Injury Prevention Coalition Safety Services Newfoundland Labrador

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