ICBC creates film contest to curb unsafe driving

ICBC is holding a fun and creative short film contest designed to curb young drivers’ dangerous driving habits.

To join the 180 Film Contest, amateur filmmakers are asked to produce a film 60 to 180 seconds long that will help young drivers do a 180 degree turn on speeding, impaired driving or distracted driving.

To be eligible, contestants must be B.C. residents between 19 and 25 years old and the entry must contain original material only. Entries must be uploaded on the contest website www.180filmcontest.com before midnight on Dec. 31, 2010.

“We decided to create a contest by peers for their peers because peer pressure is still pretty apparent in that age demographic,” said Ingrid Brakop, ICBC’s road safety coordinator. “It can be something that incorporates pop culture and something that they can all relate to.”

“I think it’s going to give everybody a chance to flex their creative muscles.”

Young people are known to push their limits, go beyond their boundaries and in some circumstances, tempt fate. These characteristics can be good, but not when you’re driving.
“Our statistics basically show us that 19 to 25 is a targeted demographic for impaired driving, and it is in fact mostly male,” said Brakop.

According to statistics from ICBC from 2003 to 2007, on average, approximately 1,500 impaired drivers aged 19 to 25 are involved in crashes in B.C. each year. On average, 38 people are killed each year in crashes where an impaired driver aged 19 to 25 was involved.

When it comes to speeding, approximately 2,400 speeding drivers from this age group are involved in crashes in the province each year. An average of 48 people are killed and 1,700 are injured each year in crashes involving a speeding driver in this age group.

While it’s normal to be caught up in the moment when you’re young, reckless behaviour behind the wheel could irreversibly affect not just yourself but other people.

“A lot of it is driver inexperience and a lot of it is merely their age group. You know, when you’re 19 to 25, you’re young. You’re indestructible. We’ve all done it. We’ve all been there. We’ve all been young. We’ve all lived in the moment,” said Brakop. “But I think in that moment, there’s also room to make better choices and to realize the consequences of poor choices.”

The contest is ICBC’s way of reaching out to a younger audience. Brakop is hoping the “by peers for peers” approach will be more effective than regular mainstream messaging.

“We don’t want to be just talking heads all the time and talking at this demographic. They tend to switch off after a while because they’re just inundated by so much electronic media about different issues.”

“Hopefully it speaks to them.”

The top filmmakers in each category will receive a JVC camcorder, an iMac and Final Cut Studio software. The public can vote for their favourite film through Facebook or Twitter (@icbc). The most liked film will get the People’s Choice Award.

For more information, visit www.180filmcontest.com.

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