A graphic film highlighting the dangers of texting while driving, produced for the Gwent police in the UK force with film-maker Peter Watkins Hughes, has become an internet hit across the globe. Although people are aware of the laws against driving while using a mobile phone, many still are not aware of the dangers of texting while driving, an offence in Ireland since July 16 2006. The film seeks to highlight this to dramatic effect as it follows fictional schoolgirl girl Cassie Cowan, nicknamed Cow. She and her friends are involved in a horrific car crash after she loses concentration behind the wheel while texting. A four-minute taster clip of the film, generally known as COW, has been seen by millions of viewers on YouTube, and has gained global attention.
More than 1,000 teenagers from all over Mayo will watch the film provided to Mayo County Council by the Gwent police on February 4 in the TF Royal in Castlebar .
A recent study by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute USA, after examining the behaviour of truck drivers covering more than six million miles of road, concluded that people who send text messages while driving are 23 times more likely to be in a crash (or what they call a near-crash event ) than nondistracted drivers.
Recognising that many people are killed or seriously injured on our roads, the show aims to positively influence those drivers who are about to start out on what will hopefully be a long and safe motoring career.