New short film dramatises dangers of driving while high

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A Puff Before Dying, a new short film from The National Road Safety Foundation (NRSF), uses satire and puppetry to dramatize the dangers of driving while high on marijuana.

The nine-minute film, which had its world premiere to critical acclaim at the South by Southwest Film
Festival in March, is now available for free viewing or download at the NRSF website.

The film, by award-winning music video director Michael Reich, uses the famed Los Angeles-based Bob
Baker Marionette Theater to create a film that’s a throwback to 1950s-style driver education films. It
shows the tragic result of a teen who goes joyriding with friends and gives in to peer pressure to smoke
marijuana while she drives.

In its review, The Movie Buff says, “… the satire shines through as a warning not to drive while high. It’s a
responsible fable, for sure, that is so good I hope it gets shown in schools. I know if I were in high school
and saw this, I would just love it.”

“Many teens wrongly think they can drive safely while high,” says Michelle Anderson of The National
Road Safety Foundation. “But the reality is, marijuana impairs judgement and slows reaction time. That
delayed response to surroundings on the road can be the cause of an otherwise avoidable crash.”

In 2018, about 12 million people of all ages drove under the influence of marijuana and more than nine
percent of drivers ages 16 -20 admit to having driven while high.

Alcohol remains the most common cause of crashes for impaired drivers of all ages, but marijuana-impaired driving is growing, according to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

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About Author

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Tom has edited Traffic Technology International magazine and the Traffic Technology Today website since May 2014. During his time at the title he has interviewed some of the top transportation chiefs in charge of public agencies around the world as well as chairmen and CEOs of multinational transportation technology corporations. Tom's early career saw him working on some the UK's leading consumer magazine titles. He has a law degree from the London School of Economics (LSE).