Graphic Anti-Texting Film Had Pro-Seatbelt Predecessor

Before a graphic anti-texting video exploded onto the Internet, there was an equally graphic film intended to sell seatbelt use U.K. to teens. "No Seatbelt, No Excuse" is very similar, only better.

The controversial anti-texting film has been viewed more than 6 million times since being posted last month. The earlier film deserves the same success.

Produced in 2005-6, "No Seatbelt, No Excuse" was the fifth U.K. cross border road safety campaign, jointly commissioned by the Department of the Environment (DOE) and the National Safety Council (NSC), in Dublin. Overall production costs of £350,594 were split between the Department, NSC, and the campaign sponsor, AXA Insurance.

"The seat belt campaign is based on the fact that too many people believe that wearing a seat belt is a matter of personal choice," according to the DOE Web site.

The spot, actually titled ‘Damage,’ challenges this perception "by shocking audiences out of their complacency. The advert breaks new ground by taking an everyday story of normal life and using it to explore the slow motion horror of what happens inside a car when one person chooses not to wear a seat belt."

"The positive change in attitudes and reported behaviour demonstrate the impact of the campaign, but the increase in seat belt wearing rates shows, beyond a doubt, that this campaign is a success."

The campaign was launched as the Police Service of Northern Ireland announced a toughening of enforcement with more ‘Fixed Penalties’ and fewer ‘Advice and Warnings’.

"The level of success achieved with this campaign must be attributed to a combination of education, legislation and robust enforcement."

I first saw this ad at an EMS conference, where it was shown by a trauma surgeon and left the audience of nurses, EMTs, and paramedics--people who see this stuff in real life--at least momentarily stunned.

There is probably some definition of pornography and obscenity that can apply to both of these ads. They are shocking and may even be disgusting to some. But, it takes a lot of shake people--especially teens--out of their complacency.

And I'd much rather they experience this sort of shaking--safely on their computer screens--than the kind of shaking, tossing, and dying depicted in the ads.

Please show both these spots to your kids.

"No Seatbelt, No Excuse"

"Don't Text And Drive"

David Coursey, when not blogging, is a volunteer Emergency Medical Technician.

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