Road safety video has real impact

West Midlands Fire Service has launched a new 360° video, which highlights 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 while using a mobile.

The interactive experience 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. It was the idea of Watch Commander Paul Bayliss, who is based at Bournbrook Community Fire Station.

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.

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

“Sadly, we see the consequences of being distracted on roads and pavements on a daily basis. If Impact 360 stops just one person being injured or killed, it will have helped us in 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.

To view and interact with Impact 360, visit the Facebook page for West Midlands Fire Service. On a desktop computer you can drag around your cursor on the video to view the action from all angles. On a mobile device, simply use your finger to move within the action, tilt and turn your device, or slot your smartphone into a Google Cardboard viewer.