As part of Road Safety Week, which begins today, we take a look at the devastating impact drink-driving can have on young people’s lives. We talk to Matthew Poll, Commercial Director at More Than and Natalie Tickle, Charity and Community Manager at RSA Insurance Group about their road safety campaign.
They commissioned See Change Films to produce a documentary framing the issue of road safety in a way that young people can relate to. They wanted to focus on the story of Jason, a young man whose life was changed forever by his decision to drive under the influence.
Nine years ago, at the age of 19, Jason left a party to go and buy more alcohol with his two friends. The next thing Jason remembered was waking up in hospital to discover one friend had been killed in the road accident and the other had lost his leg. Jason received a five year jail sentence and served two and half years in prison. Since then he has turned his life around and has spoken to over 40,000 teenagers about the impact this decision has had on his life, encouraging them to take a different path.
Road Safety and See Change Films
Natalie and Matthew talk about their involvement in the project:
Could you describe the project that you’ve worked on with us?
Natalie: This Road Safety week we are focusing our campaign on young drivers. We went to See Change Films and said we wanted to create a film that will really make young people stop and think about their actions - particularly about the devastating impact driving under influence can have. We gave See Change Films a very short brief about what we wanted - and they came back with the idea for the film. They found Jason, the young guy who’s featured in the film, they came up with the concept of the film - and the end result was brilliant.
Matthew: I think it’s really important for big corporates to have a social conscience, and put something back into the community. I think the Jason film does exactly that for us. See Change Films created a fantastically powerful story through the medium of film to warn young people about the danger of getting their license and drink driving. The message was particularly hard-hitting, but I think it really gets across the seriousness of what we were trying to convey.
How was the experience of working with See Change Films?
Natalie: Working with See Change Films was a real collaboration - being a charity themselves they bring in a lot of ideas, they know a lot of people and partners that can contribute to the project, so the end product was really rich because of working with them.
Matthew: I found working with See Change really easy - my philosophy was to give the charity the legs to do what they wanted to do. I thought I’d trust the charity to do what was right - and was really, really impressed with the finished article.
What do you think of the finished film? How are you planning to use it?
Natalie: I was surprised by the quality of the film. We’ve got a film which I think is really high impact. It can be quite upsetting and hard to watch, but I think it needs to be - and it’s perfect for the age group that it’s been designed for. The film is aimed at young drivers but we’re also releasing it internally because I think it’s an issue for everyone, and something that everyone cares about.
Matthew: The finished film blew me away. It was really well shot, very emotional, and really drew people in - it certainly drew me in. I think it was particularly hard-hitting, which was part of the purpose. We are going to be using the film during Road Safety Week in a variety of ways. We’re going to put it on social media and really give it a strong push there through the brand, we’re also going to be linking in with Jason, the star of the film, and he will be going to various schools around the country to show the film and chat to kids about his experience to give the message that extra edge. Even if we stop one accident with this film, I think that will be a fantastic achievement - hopefully it will stop many more.