2017 Global Road Safety Film Festival in Geneva raises awareness about the fatal consequences of drunk, drugged and distracted driving
WASHINGTON (Feb. 21, 2017) – The powerful anti-drunk driving video, “Reflections from Inside,” produced by the nonprofit We Save Lives won the Grand Prize at the 2017 Global Road Safety Film Festival in Geneva, taking top honors over films on distracted driving produced in China and Slovenia. In the viral video viewed more than 200 million times worldwide, a remorseful prison inmate speaks to astonished bar patrons through a restroom mirror, telling them about his vivid memories of the night he killed a police officer and urging them to take responsibility for their behavior before tragedy occurs.
The prestigious international award was announced by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe – Sustainable Transport Division (UNECE), which organizes the annual film festival with Laser International Foundation (LIFE), the UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy for Road Safety Jean Todt, and Hollywood talent including actress Michelle Yeoh and filmmaker Luc Besson.
Expressing gratitude to the organizers, jury and selection committee, We Save Lives Founder Candace Lightner noted the importance of showcasing films that educate the public on the devastating consequences of driving while drunk, drugged or distracted. We Save Lives worked with Y&R, the Miami Bravo Office, to bring the film to fruition after the Y&R team approached the nonprofit organization with the idea. A video link enabled the team to interview an actual prison inmate, Kris Caudilla, at RMC Correctional Facility in Lake Butler, Fla.
“This is truly a unique film that evokes persuasive emotion and one that has helped us to reach a new, digital-savvy generation,” said Ms. Lightner, whose daughter was killed by a drunk driver at age 13. “We often tell the stories from the victim’s and survivor’s perspectives, hoping our stories will be the catalyst for change. This is the first time, to my knowledge, where we went inside a prison to talk to a young man whose life has been forever changed because of drinking and driving. The reaction has been overwhelming.”
Despite strong advocacy against drunk driving, statistics show the problem is not going away. In 2015, drunk drivers killed 10,265 people and injured approximately 290,000. Drunk driving carries an estimated yearly price tag of $132 billion.
“I never planned to become a highway safety advocate – fate thrust that role upon me – and I’m saddened that drunk-driving deaths continue to happen on our watch. I know only too well the horror that results from a drunk driver’s decision to get behind the wheel,” Ms. Lightner said. “This wasn’t an easy film to make, and it took us more than a year of meetings with prison officials, prisoners, lawyers, bar owners and others, but it certainly was worth the difficulties and challenges to make this video. The comments have been heartbreaking, but I believe this is a lifesaving film.”
More than 30 years after she founded Mothers Against Drunk Driving, Ms. Lightner took up the cause again by founding We Save Lives to discourage “the 3Ds” – drunk, drugged and distracted driving. Her prevention strategy engages not only drivers of all ages but also the social media industry, the cell phone industry, the alcohol industry and the automotive industry, encouraging them to become partners in finding a comprehensive solution.
“What if your decision to drink and drive was staring right back at you? Share #ReflectionsFromInside and help someone get home safely,” We Save Lives says in its YouTube version of the film.
The international award was accepted on behalf of We Save Lives by Jeri Dye Lynch, a member of the Global Road Safety Film Festival selection committee and president of The Conor Lynch Foundation, a We Save Lives partner.
Organizers of the Global Road Safety Film Festival note that such films play a major part in awareness campaigns and can be one of the most efficient ways to act on behaviors and change the way people perceive road safety problems. The films originate from around the world and are presented under these categories: communication and campaigns, education for road safety and driver training, risk prevention for professional drivers, road safety innovations, and television broadcasts.
The runners-up for the top prize were “Don’t Use Your Phone,” produced by the Slovenian Traffic Safety Agency (3rd prize) and “Distracted Driving,” produced by the Road Traffic Safety Research Center of Ministry of Public Security of the Peoples Republic of China (2nd prize), which also dealt with using a smartphone while driving.
President, We Save Lives