This morning I saw yet another headline about a teenager dying in a car accident and suddenly, for the first time in decades, the title Signal 30 popped into my head. Signal 30 was a short film made in 1959, the year I turned 16. It was shown in schools around the nation in an effort to shock and scare teens into driving safely. I remember a large part of our student body being assembled in the auditorium to watch it.
Scenes of actual death and injury aren’t allowed these days in news reports of accidents; I don’t know if they ever were. Rights to privacy and all that. Yet they were included in the film in an effort to educate the viewers, to show the reality of death and result of carelessness rather than Hollywood’s fake gore and violence. It makes me wonder if, as has been proposed by some, footage of actual shooting deaths today would arouse the public even more and finally move lawmakers to act decisively.