Graphic British car crash warning prove YouTube hit
A graphic British police video about the dangers of sending text messages while driving has become a worldwide hit on the Internet.
A four-minute, 16-second clip showing the horrifying three-car crash has been seen millions of times on the video-sharing website YouTube.
It shows a 17-year-old girl called Cassie Cowan causing the accident through texting while driving in Tredegar, a town in southeast Wales. Her two friends and two parents in an oncoming car are killed.
The brutal crash clip includes graphic scenes of the victims being battered about in Cowan's car, followed by her screaming amid the carnage as passers-by struggle to help.
The film, by the local Gwent Police force, cost 10,000 pounds (11,500 euros, 16,300 dollars) to make and was intended to be shown locally.
However, it has attracted interest from around the world, with coverage by US newspapers and television stations.
"It has had a massive global reaction," said budding local actress Jenny Davies, 18, who plays the blood-soaked crash survivor Cowan.
"It is really important that it is as realistic as possible as (otherwise) people are not going to believe it and it is not going to affect people.
"Even though people say it is shocking and gory, it is important it is like that. For people my age, that is what I think affects us."
On texting at the wheel, she added: "I think people are finally realising how dangerous it is."
Gwent Police are calling it "the film that will stop you texting and driving".
"Seeing a scenario, like the one Cassie goes through, played out right before your eyes makes you realise how extremely dangerous it can be and what devastating consequences it can have," said Chief Inspector John Pavett.
"I hope that after watching this film motorists will think twice before picking up their mobile phone when behind the wheel, and realise that a quick reply to a text message or answering a phone call is never worth putting theirs and other people's lives at risk."
The full 30-minute film, called "Cow", is due to screen on BBC Wales in October.
© 2009 AFP