EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

New Hampshire

April 10, 2014

Student video aims to reduce texting behind the wheel

Students create texting at the wheel video

KINGSTON — A car crashes into a tree at the Plains, killing an elementary school girl, severely injuring a Sanborn Regional High School student and putting another in handcuffs.

The 10-minute video watched by Sanborn juniors and seniors yesterday wasn’t real.

But it could have been, police and firefighters said after the presentation. Texting while driving shatters lives on a daily basis, they said.

“I’m seeing endless amounts of inattentive drivers. Many times, (accidents) are minor in nature, but they can be very serious,” Kingston fire Chief Bill Seamen told the students. “We transport many injured students on a regular basis. We see students die.”

The video was created by Sanborn High sophomores Jenna Nofsker and Sophie Smith for a freshman Modern Media course last June, taught by Brian Gray and Mark Giuliucci.

The point of the video was “to get some of the students to recognize the hazards involved with driving as a whole,” Seaman said.

“We used to do these programs years ago, tailored around drunk driving,” Seaman said. “When I approached (Sanborn Principal) Brian Stack and showed him a fire video we had done, it spurred the fire and got the kids going on doing a similar movie, but they wanted to shift it up and do a texting one.”

Jenna took on the project, eventually recruiting Sophie.

“My sister texts and drives, and it makes me nervous sometimes,” Jenna said. “But you can’t say anything because they’ll take offense to it.”

The girls spent two months story-boarding the scene, knowing they had a limited window to get it all on film, she said.

They shot the video in June over four hours, with help and equipment from multiple agencies.

At the end of the premiere yesterday, Kingston police and firefighters talked to the students about what they see on the road.

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