Graphic video warns of texting danger

June 29, 2010 3:36:23 PM PDT
AAA of the Carolinas is going to try and shock motorists out of texting and driving with a graphic video produced in Britain which shows a staged car accident in which four people die.

The public service commercial will air on cable systems across North and South Carolina.

The video - which shows a group of girls drift into the path of an oncoming car because they're texting - is intended to get people's attention, and people we showed it to Tuesday said they found it powerful.

"That's pretty awful," said Raleigh resident Helene Lane.

But AAA says it's supposed to be awful.

"It’s one thing to tell people not to text and drive," said Dave Parsons, a board member on the Foundation and president and CEO of AAA Carolinas in a news release. "By eliciting an emotional response, we hope this video will change deadly distracted driving behavior."

The video AAA will air is 30 seconds of a longer video produced in Scotland. You can watch the whole 4:15 minute video by clicking here (caution - very graphic content).

"I pictured my own kids getting slaughtered," said Raleigh resident Melissa Damiano.

Damiano's 17-year-old daughter Amanda said the violence is just too much.

"I think it's a little much for TV," she said.

North Carolina passed a law last year that bans text messaging by all drivers. Teens had been banned from using any mobile communication device since the end of 2007.

But a recent survey shows nine out of 10 teens are actually not driving with cell phones. It's the grownups who need to hang up and drive.

"Using a cell phone (talking hands-free or hand-held) while driving is very dangerous, as many motorists know from personal experience or from watching drivers using cell phones in nearby cars," said Parsons.

And while the video is not for the squeamish, AAA says it's not much different from other content on TV every day.

"Ironically, some television stations that will air a fantasy horror show about Halloween are reluctant to show a simulated, graphic video that displays real life results from poor driving behavior," said AAA spokesperson Tom Crosby.

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