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International acclaim for Ghost Street

Monday 23rd May 2011

Ghost Street – the film aimed at making teenagers think twice about road safety – has won an international award for ‘Best Short Film’.

Ghost Street beat off competition from 40 countries to pick up the silver award at the prestigious New York Festivals Worlds Best Film and Television Awards.

The film was commissioned by Newcastle City Council’s road safety team and Safe Newcastle as a learning resource for schools in Newcastle. But the film was so well received that it has been rolled out nationally by Road Safety GB. It has also won awards for Best Drama at the Royal Television Society Awards and Best Education Film at the IVCA Awards.

In the film a series of spooky victims of road accidents haunt a quiet urban street; a zombie skateboarder, an 80s throwback and a young mum-to-be with eternal morning sickness provide words of warning to the lead character, Tabby, who is too focussed on her mp3 player, Facebook and boys.

For more information contact Cheryl Ford at Newcastle City Council, on 0191 2115961.

Click here to see the Ghost Street film.

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I'm a road safety instructor for Stockton Council and we show Ghost Street to kids in Years 7 and 8. It is a fantastic DVD which has really changed the views of the kids that watch this DVD about road safety. This DVD rightly deserves the award - well done x.
Emma Knights

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I have to confess when I first saw the film I did wonder about whether the pedestrian impact with the car was too shocking. However we showed the film to PHSE staff within South Gloucestershire as well as teachers and they all agreed it was a suitable resource to show to teenagers of appropriate age and in our judgement that will be Year 9 and above. Since then we have used the resource to 200 year 10 pupils the majority of whom were in agreement that it was very suitable for their age group. However it was not delivered in isolation but followed up immediately with a presentation from one of my road safety officers using the lesson notes provided.
I am also on the side of those who believe that drivers must bear the ultimate responsibility - quite right too - how do they do that well we as an organisation need to be lobbying the necessary people to achieve a greater standard of good driving at test level and start talking about the ability to form a driving plan, how to recognise and deal with hazards etc not just point and deal with whatever happens but only when it is too late. Then seek to have the police recognise the worth of a positive and robust road motor patrol and make it happen. If we cannot achieve that then at least let's allow the Highways Agency Traffic Officers to become the national roads policing unit so that at least someone will be policing the roads!
Alan Hale - South Gloucestershire Council Road Safety Team

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Great to see a robust debate on a road safety resource for once. Look forward to seeing the link on YouTube Nick so I can add to the mix!
Bill Smith dbda/RoSPA Products Glasgow

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As a Road Safety Officer whose team have used Ghost Street in our high schools within Year 8 (14year olds) I can only say it is very powerful and a huge hit with the target audience. Prior to using the pack within our schools I tested the reactions of a focus group of 14 and 15 year olds. Their reaction was immediate. They understood the film and the fact that as a pedestrian you have to be aware of what is going on around and the different ways in which they could be injured. In no way does the film deliver the message that the victim is to blame and the driver is innocent. I would say to anyone see it delivered professionally first, get the reactions of the audience and then comment. Here in Warrington we always follow the Ghost Street film and lesson with an additional 40 minute workshop, usually a week later, to reinforce the messages and discuss further the film.
Melanie McHale, Warrington Road Safety Unit

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Dear Mike from Hampshire
Have you seen the entire film and accompanying booklet?
Jan Deans

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I suppose in a post-Embrace Life world a negative reaction to this intervention is inevitable. I'm not a huge fan of road safety ‘schlock and awe’ myself and the comments about blame being placed with the vulnerable road users is appropriate - though if drivers are not going to change their behaviour overnight then it's not necessarily a bad thing to alert vulnerable road users to their vulnerability - particularly that segment of society that is, for a few years at least, neurologically predisposed to think they are INvulnerable (teens). And I’m sure a media person would say that zombies play well with that audience. Some psych evaluation would answer most of the questions about success and suitability. My beef with this intervention is the distribution methodology – you can’t see it on YouTube and have to effectively get the originator’s permission to see it at all. What would be wrong with a teaser on the web page, a simple registration form to capture some user data and then have it on the site? [acknowledgements to Dan Campsall – we discussed this by email]
Mike Mounfield, Birmingham

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This is such an awful campaign. Blaming the victim for the inattentiveness of the driver. We all know most road deaths are the driver's fault. Everyone behind this should hang their heads in shame, well done for sucking up to the road lobby and passing the buck onto the victims.
Mike Stead, Hampshire

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I despair at this being seen as the way to deliver road safety by terrorising those at risk - totally negative outlook.

Everyone has 3 key pieces of road safety equipment, which should be used to the full when using the road on foot and on wheels - sadly we have had no campaign that calls for all road users to use these wonderful and free to use items and because of this road users collide with each other, and some collisions have a brutal inequality.

Make the only contact you make with another road user - eye contact - with a back-up of hearing and the use of a fully alert brain to connect and communicate what each of you is doing.

Two young cyclists run down crossing rail lines in 2008 and 2009 - both using mp3/ipods never reacted to horns and bells - using the road - then off with the shades and out with the earpieces.
Dave Holladay

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Mike - we are currently looking for a link - will upload ASAP. Nick.
Nick Rawlings, editor, Road Safety GB newsfeed

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Can we get a link? Can't see it on YouTube.
Mike Mounfield, Birmingham

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