You look… but do you see?

Original road safety films highlight ‘inattentional blindness’

What do cymbals, wands, sausages and cartwheels have in common?

They all feature in brilliant educational films and podcasts made by Y7 and Y8 students and launched today to help promote road safety.

Four groups of young people took part in the project, supported by the Police and Crime Commissioner’s Safer Communities Fund. Their brief was to create content to help children who are about to move up to secondary school in Leeds stay safe on the roads, tackling issues that are relevant to all road-users.

Students from Benton Park chose a wizarding theme complete with cloaks and broomsticks. Those from John Smeaton Academy investigated the effect that mobile phones have on perception. Wetherby High School opted for a musical awareness test to highlight so-called ‘inattention blindness’, and young people from Chapel FM Arts Centre recorded a fun three-part radio podcast with a quiz and challenge.

The project was run by Leeds City Council’s Influencing Travel Behaviour team in conjunction with a theatre-in-education company, The Riot Act.


Cllr Richard Lewis, Executive Member for Regeneration, Planning and Transport:
“We know that this age group is more at risk of getting injured as pedestrians than any other as they start to travel more independently. The issues such as attention, consideration and distraction that they address so imaginatively in these films are relevant to all road-users, young and old. I hope that these important messages get shared far and wide.”

Mark Burns-Williamson, Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) for West Yorkshire:
“Road safety is always consistently a top issue for the public and is a key focus in my Police and Crime Plan. I was therefore very happy to be able to provide support and funding through my Safer Communities Fund (SCF) to assist with this thoughtful project. Who better to get road safety messages to young people than young people themselves? They demonstrated this brilliantly in these imaginative videos themed around distraction, particularly mobile phones, which can be very dangerous in certain situations. My thanks also to Leeds City Council, all the schools involved and Chapel FM Arts Centre for producing such valuable resources to raise awareness.”

Katy Hayley, Participation Manager at Chapel FM Arts Centre.
Involving our young people in this road safety project has been incredibly rewarding, they have had the chance to creativity explore an important topic and produce something that will hopefully connect with an audience of varying ages. It’s been a pleasure to work with Tamsin Constable from the Influencing Travel Behaviour Team at Leeds City Council, her energy and passion for this work is infectious. Also working with Dan Hobson from the Riot Act has brought a different dimension of creativity to our group.

Amy, age 13, Chapel FM Arts Centre
I really enjoyed making the podcast. Coming up with interesting ideas, writing and then recording, it’s been great to be part of something start to finish.

Rhys, pupil at John Smeaton Academy
It was harder work than I expected, but I really enjoyed taking part.

Louise Graham (teacher), John Smeaton Academy:
The safety of the children travelling to and from school is very important to John Smeaton Academy and we wanted to support the road safety campaign to raise the awareness of our pupils and those of other schools as to the importance of being careful on the roads. Additionally we were keen to give our pupils the opportunity to work with a film maker to learn more about the skills of filming and acting. Our students really enjoyed taking part and learned a lot from the process. They can be very proud that they have contributed to keeping other children in Leeds safe around traffic. Thank you so much for the opportunity for our students.

Jo Temple (Key Stage 3 Leader) Benton Park School
Amazing! I love the film and will definitely be using the film in assemblies to promote safer travel. The kids had a fantastic time.

Lizzie Barker (Year 7 Student Liaison Officer) Wetherby High School
Thank you ever so much for giving us this opportunity – the children involved really enjoyed it.


A Musical Awareness Test – Whetherby High School
Chapel FM Arts Centre

Reality Check – John Smeaton Academy

Harry Potter and the Curse of the Mobile Phone – Benton Park

One thought on “You look… but do you see?

  1. When I saw this headline I thought it was aimed at drivers. Sadly not. When will road safety teams address the real danger on the road instead of primarily spend their budget telling vulnerable users that they should take more care.


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