After two car accidents killed seven youth in Long Beach last Memorial Day, young actress, and Wilson High School Junior Karley Cable, created a PSA video, dubbed Almost There, to promote the dangers of texting while driving among teens.
Texting while driving has surpassed driving while drunk as the leading cause of death for teens in the U.S., according to Cohen Children’s Medical Center, and local hospital officials are taking note of the change.
“We’re seeing an increase in the number of distracted drivers,” said Desiree Thomas, Trauma Program Director at Long Beach Memorial Medical Center. “That is likely contributed by students who are texting.”
Cable’s 30 second video, created with Cable’s fellow dance team members from Orange County School of the Arts (OCSA), shows her as a teen who texts while driving with all her friends in her car. The incident leads into a deadly accident that kills everyone in the car except herself.
“I thought about how guilty I would have felt if I had been texting in the car with my friends and any of them died,” said Cable. “By having them (in the video) it felt a lot more real to me than just having some random people shooting it.”
Cable, who has appeared in the movie Fired Up and TV shows such as 8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter and Arrested Development, says the Memorial Day accidents motivated her to create the video to change the driving attitudes of her peers. Although Cable didn’t know any of the people that were killed, the incidents happened at streets where she often drives.
“I had seen all the commercials on TV that talked about the dangers of texting while driving, but until those accidents happened I never really thought about how it could happen to anybody,” said Cable. “It made me realize that nobody is safe from the consequences of texting while driving.”
Taking action on this issue, the California Legislature recently passed SB 194, which further prohibits teens from using hands-free devices on phones while driving. Any teen who is caught using a hands-free device while driving will be subject to the same fines as if they were texting or talking on the phones with their hands while driving: $20 for the first ticket and $50 for each subsequent ticket.
Cable hopes that the message of the video gets across to other teenagers, many of who see texting while driving as a necessary convenience.
“It’s more of an inconvenience to wait until you’re done driving,” said Carly Miner, one of Cable’s friends and fellow dance team members who appeared in the video. “If you’re at a stop and you get a text, it’s really tempting to know who it’s from and what it says.”
Originally Cable’s dance team wanted to bring awareness to the issue by creating a dance piece.
“We all choreographed a dance but then my mom knew some people from [OCSA] so she asked if they would want to be part of a video because she thought that would reach more people,” said Cable.
Despite taking only a day to shoot, the PSA took three months to edit. It premiered at a private reception at the Art Theatre on January 4, where Cable and her friends and anyone involved with it were able to see what all their hard work had created.
Despite being heavily involved in the editing process, Cable’s mother Katy Cable was deeply affected by what she saw on the big screen.
“I was choked up,” said Katy. “I just couldn’t believe what all the kids had put together in such a limited amount of time.”
Almost There will be edited into a 30-second segment for TV, while the full version will be showcased in movie theatres in April.
To see the entire video and to learn more about the “Don’t Text and Drive/It Can Wait Campaign”, visit http://themadmovement.weebly.com.