Killer behind the wheel

By Layron Livingston - bio | email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - email

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - Too far, or not far enough? Thousands and thousands of web hits later, a British PSA is getting the attention of folks here in the states. The video details the potentially bloody and gruesome consequences of teens texting while driving. In fact, you have to be 18 or older to watch it on YouTube. Some of the video is extremely graphic. It starts out as a carefree drive with friends. One text message later, things quickly turn tragic.

Click here to watch the video.

The texting driver hits an oncoming car, head on. Another car plows into her and her friends. The two passenger are killed instantly.

"You see this and you go...woah," said creative director Eric Radde with Cue Creative, a Tyler ad agency. "It's probably tipping more toward a little too far, but I think it's what you have to do to get attention with advertising. If you're milk toast, middle of the road, or not far enough, people ignore you."

Especially teens. British drama students, a film director, and a British police force produced the nearly five minute video.

"I think it's outstanding," said Tyler Police Chief Gary Swindle. "It's real easy for us to sit back and enforce the laws, but I think our job goes a little bit further and that's prevention."

Swindle says his department regularly works with students to show the effects of drunk driving. He says the video sends a clear message, texting can be just as deadly.

"You can see how many families and lives that one incident changes." said Swindle.

Texting drivers are 23 times more likely to get into an accident, according to a recent study. 17 states and the District of Columbia now ban texting for all drivers. Nine states prohibit new drivers from texting. No texting bans exist in Texas, but new drivers do have to wait a year before they can legally use a wireless device behind the wheel. Rand Huzenlaub teaches defensive driving. He says he doesn't go for "shock" for entertainment or educational value. But, in this case, it could be beneficial.

"It must be used in a format where it's mandatory that they watch it," said Huzenlaub.

Pushing the envelope to drive the message home.

So, does the video go too far, or not far enough? Click here to tell us your opinion.

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