Actor Keith McErlean Launches Road Safety Film Competition
– Prize of €3,000 and a professionally produced film –
Actor and RSA Road Safety Ambassador Keith McErlean today, Thursday 4 October, launched the Road Safety Authority (RSA) and Setanta Insurance national road safety film competition, ‘Keep Drama off the Roads’. The competition, which will appeal to all young budding filmmakers, aims to generate awareness among young people of the dangers of using a mobile phone while driving, particularly texting while driving. The competition marks the launch of ‘Irish Road Safety Week’ which takes place from Monday 8 October to Sunday 14 October.
‘Keep Drama off the Roads’ is open to 15-25 year olds and provides young people with an opportunity to showcase their creative skills by submitting an original and innovative concept for a short film that tackles the serious issue of mobile phone use while driving, particularly texting while driving. The entries will be judged by a panel of experts, including Keith McErlean who will also be involved in the development of the script from the winning entry. The winner of the competition will receive €3,000 and the opportunity to work with a professional film production company to see their concept come to life in a short film.
Keith McErlean, who is currently filming the new series of ‘Raw’ on RTÉ, said: “Last year, the Road Safety Authority asked me to become a Road Safety Ambassador and I was delighted to say yes. Road safety is something that I am very passionate about, particularly when I can get involved in initiatives like ‘Keep Drama of the Roads’ that help to educate young, vulnerable road-users. This is a fantastic opportunity for a young student to put their creative talents to good use and develop a film concept that could make a real impact on the behaviour of their friends and other young people. I’m really looking forward to seeing what ideas students come up with and helping them to turn those ideas into reality.”
To date this year, 131 people have been killed on Irish roads. Shockingly, one third (31.3%) of those killed were aged between 16 and 25. Last year, 56 young people aged between 16 and 25 were killed on our roads, representing 1 in 3 of all road fatalities.
RSA Chief Executive, Mr Noel Brett said: “We are always looking for ideas and innovations that help us to address the high incidences of road deaths among our younger road-users. So we are delighted to be teaming up with Setanta Insurance for the third year of ‘Keep Drama off the Roads’. This year’s theme is focused on the dangers of using a mobile phone while driving and in particular, texting while driving. Research tells us that using a mobile phone while driving makes you four times more likely to crash, and when coupled with inexperience, this risk is increased. So I’m really looking forward to seeing what innovative ideas young people come up with to tackle this issue among their peers.”
Setanta Insurance General Manager, Mr John Beatty said: “Last year’s ‘Keep Drama off the Roads’ competition was a huge success so we’re delighted to partner with the RSA again for this year’s competition. What was most encouraging last year was the standard of entries submitted by young people throughout the country who clearly had strong ideas on how to tackle road safety issues that affect themselves and their peers. This year’s theme is mobile phones and driving and I’m very excited to see what fresh and imaginative ideas are submitted.”
Entries to the competition can be submitted from Thursday 4 October until 6pm on Friday 16 November via the competition website, www.keepdramaofftheroads.ie. Applicants must outline their concept in no more than 1,000 words and supply a working title for the short film. The winner will receive €3,000 and the opportunity to work with a team of professional film producers to turn their short film concept into a reality. The winning film will be shown on rsa.ie, setantainsurance.ie and keepdramaofftheroads.ie. Three runners up will receive a prize of €500.
A full list of entry requirements and terms and conditions can also be found on www.keepdramaofftheroads.ie. Last year’s winning entry was ‘Loaded Weapon’ by Richard Lahart, an Undergraduate student at UCC, and has been viewed over 31,000 times on YouTube.
Details of activities taking place during Irish Road Safety Week are available on the RSA’s website at rsa.ie. During Irish Road Safety Week, the RSA will be running a series of promotions on Facebook and Twitter.