Thompsons Solicitors is proud to be involved in the creation of a new film which uses virtual reality to promote road safety.

The Road Safety Film is the brainchild of road safety campaigners RoadPeace North East. It was part-funded by Thompsons and created by Teeside University in partnership with Cleveland Police Special Constabulary, the Cliff Theatre group, Ian Ramsey CE Academy, North East Ambulance Service and Teesside Park.

The immersive short film takes viewers to the heart of the action, as they watch school pupils walking home at the end of the school day.

On the set of the road safety film

Distracted by her mobile, one of the pupils steps into the road and into the path of an oncoming car. The drama unfolds as the emergency services attend the scene. Viewers are then transported, through the use of virtual reality technology, to the hospital where they witness the impact on the victim and her family.

The film’s message regarding road safety is compounded by the stories of two relatives of real-life road collision victims, who speak on the film about their own experiences losing their loved ones. John Thompson, who worked with Thompsons to fight for answers after his 27-year-old son Jake was killed by a speeding lorry while using a pedestrian crossing in 2011, bravely shares the impact Jake’s loss has had on his family.

Milly Ogden, the lead actor in the film , stepping out into the road

Jonathan McGowan, of Thompsons Solicitors, said: “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 lives of 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 and show our solidarity with those who have already endured this heartbreak.”

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”.

If you would like to request a screening of the film, please get in touch with RoadPeace North East via their website http://roadpeacenortheast.org.uk/