Back in September 2011 Allstate Northern Ireland ran a competition for students to come up with an idea for a 30 second video clip for YouTube to promote their safe driving message of X the TXT - Don't Text & Drive.
It was announced on Wednesday 21st March that Craigavon Senior High School had won the competition, after receiving the most votes for their video. Hannah Gardiner, pupil at Craigavon Senior High School who had the winning idea received £1,000 for her school as well as tickets to the X Factor concert at the Odyssey Arena for her friends and teachers.
Hannah's idea featured a young mum and her son, with the mum lying seriously ill in a hospital bed after a horrific road traffic collision. The camera flashes back to images of happier times and the mother and son playing, returning to the child playing with his toy cars and a toy mobile phone. The son is crashing the mobile phone into the cars which has been the cause of the collision. The last scene depicts the mother losing her life because of the collision, it's a very hard hitting message but one that shows how just one distraction can lead to devastation on our roads and to people's lives.
Ulidia Integrated College and South Eastern Regional College were finalists in the competition and you can still watch all 3 videos on Allstate NI's YouTube site.
Head of Road Policing, Superintendent Muir Clark said:
"Using a mobile phone while driving is not just an offence, it can lead to a lapse of concentration that can and has resulted in people being killed in crashes on roads in Northern Ireland in the last year."
"Drivers must exercise proper control of their vehicle at all times. Never use a handheld mobile phone when driving. Using hands free equipment is also likely to distract your attention from the road. It is far safer not to use any telephone while you are driving. No phone call is worth losing your own or some innocent person's life. If it's a vitally important call, find a safe place to stop first."
Iain Greenway, Director of Road Safety and Vehicle Regulation Division said:
"Educating the public and influencing attitudes and behaviours towards road safety is vital and the first step towards achieving this is to instil good road user attitudes and behaviours in young people. What is learnt and put into practice at a young age forms the basis of behaviour later in life".
"Through working in partnership with organisations such as Allstate, initiatives like this will contribute to a reduction in the number of people killed or seriously injured on our roads each year".
Texting and driving is becoming more and more of an issue on our roads and even though it is illegal in Northern Ireland to use your mobile phone whilst driving, you still see people doing this on a daily basis. Allstate Northern Ireland launched the X the TXT campaign in 2010 as part of their community programme and so far over 60 schools and colleges have taken part in the X the TXT Challenge, receiving a serious road safety message in a fun and interactive way. The campaign is endorsed by PSNI and DOE. You can support the initiative at www.facebook.com/XtheTXTNI
Remember Don't TMPT F8 THT TXT can W8!