Unique Road Safety Film to be Launched at Service of Remembrance for Road Crash Victims

A unique Road Safety Film which has elements in “virtual reality” to immerse the viewer will be launched following this year’s Annual Service of Remembrance for Road Crash Victims at Durham Cathedral.

The film will resonate with many across the region as the viewer watches school pupils walking home at the end of the school day. Distracted by her mobile telephone one pupil steps out into the path of an oncoming car. The scene is then flooded with emergency services, and the disorientated victim is transported to hospital where her distraught family arrive. Speaking over the unfolding action are 2 real-life victims who give moving accounts of the impact of losing their own loved ones.

Mark Ellis, Secretary of RoadPeace North East, said: “Our members have put so much energy into what is such an emotive short film. The strength of this film is the rawness that it brings to the viewer, and it is a film which will cause all viewers to sit silently and reflect. As one of the victims says, “You don’t want to be this family””.

Milly Ogden, the lead actor in the film from Ian Ramsey CE Academy in Stockton, said: “Whilst I have always been aware of risks around roads, I had not really stopped to think in any detail about them. Being involved in this film has made me vividly appreciate the catastrophic consequences that can happen to families, and I hope others will too”.

Teesside University filmed the project coordinating with RoadPeace North East, Cleveland Police Special Constabulary, theatre group “Cliff Theatre”, Ian Ramsey CE Academy, North East Ambulance Service, Teesside Park and Thompsons Solicitors (who kindly co-funded the film with RoadPeace North East).

Speaking about the project Siobhan Fenton, Associate Dean (Enterprise and Business Engagement) in the School of Computing, Engineering and Digital Technologies at Teesside University, said “Teesside University’s Digital Studio is committed to providing bespoke solutions across a range of sectors and we have been proud to support RoadPeace North East and their initiative to raise awareness surrounding the critical issues of road safety”.

The Service, the sixth consecutive service to be held at Durham Cathedral, has frequently made headlines having previously included a private commission from the then Poet Laurette, having been attended by stars of Channel 5’s “Police Interceptors”, and having launched reflective snap bands keep pedestrians visible on dark evenings. The Service is an opportunity to remember the lives of those lost on the region’s roads.

Jonathan McGowan of Thompsons Solicitors, the firm who part-sponsored the road safety film, added: “More than 160,000 road collision injuries were reported across the UK last year, the majority of which could have been avoided. Sadly, around 25,000 of these victims suffered serious or fatal injuries, and we have seen first-hand the impact this can have on the families involved. We are proud to work with support groups such as RoadPeace North East to raise awareness of pedestrian safety. By helping to fund this project, we hope to highlight the life-changing impact a road collision can have on families across the UK”.

Speaking further about the Service Mark Ellis said: “The Service really is an opportunity for victims to come together. We are grateful that Deputy Lieutenant Miss Harte will be in attendance at the service as the Queen’s Representative, along with the Vice Chairman of Durham County Council, Councillor Ossie. I hope that many victims from around the region will come together and take real benefit from what is a very peaceful and reflective service”.


WHEN: Saturday 26 October 2019 at 11.00 am

WHERE: Durham Cathedral