New video fires mobile phone warning

20 February 2017

West Midlands Fire Service has launched a 360-degree video experience to highlight the dangers faced by pedestrians using mobile phones.

Impact 360 is a hard-hitting, immersive film which puts the viewer right at the centre of an emergency situation.

Prompted by an alarming increase in road traffic incidents, the video looks to educate children and their parents about the dangers of crossing the road whilst using a mobile.

The interactive experience, which was filmed in Birmingham, was the idea of Watch Commander Paul Bayliss, based at Bournbrook Community Fire Station.

It was filmed and produced by Spark Media, based in Birmingham city centre, with input and support from Birmingham City Council and the Rees Jeffreys Road Fund charity.

Watch Commander Bayliss said: “Impact 360 is designed to bring home the very real dangers that pedestrians can face, particularly if they’re wearing headphones, using mobile devices or are otherwise distracted as they’re walking and crossing roads.

“I wanted to take a fresh approach to the advice ‘stop, look and listen’. Using virtual reality is a great way of grabbing the attention of younger road users who are most at risk of being a road casualty.

"We’re always looking to find new and engaging ways of sharing road safety advice. We’re hoping that 360 degree virtual reality will really grab people’s imagination and hammer home the importance of giving road safety your full attention.

“Sadly, the emergency services see the consequences of being distracted on roads and pavements on a daily basis. If ‘Impact 360’ prevents just one person being injured or killed, it will have played its part in our job of making the West Midlands safer, stronger and healthier.”

The video was filmed in Sheldon and has been launched on the West Midlands Fire Service Facebook page.

A fully interactive version, which includes questions about road safety, has also been produced for use at schools, colleges and events.

Watch the video here.

Pictured (l to r): Scott Barnett, Michael Carnell, Bonny John and Danny Gwynne


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