I have long held that entertainment, whether it be movies, television, toys or games, does not cause harm. There is, however, always a slim chance that there is someone out their foolish enough to try something that they've seen represented in the fantasy world, allowing their safety and the safety of others to fall into the hands of fate. With that in mind, I took a peek at a message that hit my inbox here at Rock Father HQ and have decided to share it. Operation Lifesaver, a non-profit dedicated to Rail Safety Education, has issued a statement regarding the new film, DIVERGENT, and what it believes could influence dangerous behavior when dealing with real-life trains. Here is that statement in it's entirety...
Operation Lifesaver Statement on DIVERGENT:
The action-adventure film DIVERGENT, which opened in theaters nationwide this week, depicts a future world where people are divided into factions based on human virtues. Unfortunately, like the young adult novel upon which it is based, in the movie members of the Dauntless faction travel to different parts of their post-apocalyptic city by jumping onto and off of moving trains.
Although this movie depicts a fantasy world, in real life, about every three hours a person or vehicle is hit by a train in the United States.
We raise this issue because we want Americans to think about that statistic each time they approach a railroad crossing or ride a commuter train, light rail or intercity passenger train. The film-making community has shown increased awareness of the dangers around train tracks in light of recent incidents; we want to spread that awareness to the movie-going public.
With the help of our federal government and rail industry safety partners, Operation Lifesaver will soon launch a new national public awareness safety campaign highlighting the need to stay safe around tracks and trains.
We invite Lionsgate Entertainment, Summit Entertainment and national movie theater chains to consider supporting this campaign by airing our upcoming video PSA in their coming attractions this summer.
Together, we can make a difference, and save lives.
Honestly, I'd paid very little attention to DIVERGENT, and wasn't aware of the "train-jumping" scenarios. But, I could see some doofuses giving it a try, too... but in no way are films to blame. Common sense and reality need to come into play.
What do you think?
About James: A work-from-home Dad with a pair of daughters (Released in 2009 and 2012) - James Zahn is THE ROCK FATHER™.
Bringing over two decades of experience in the entertainment industry into the family realm, Zahn is an Illinois-based Entertainment Writer, Media Personality and Commentator.
He serves as a PBS KIDS VIP (Very Involved Parent), has made guest appearances as a member of the Sprout Kindness Crew, was featured in the Father's Day issue of Lake County Magazine, and is a former contributor to Chicago Parent.
Creatively, James has directed/edited music videos, lyric videos, and album trailers for the likes of FEAR FACTORY, DIRGE WITHIN, PRODUCT OF HATE, ARCANIUM and others, has appeared as an actor in feature films and commercials, written comic books, and performed in bands.
James and/or his work have been featured in/on CNN, NBC, G4, The Chicago Tribune, Blogcritics, Fangoria, Starlog, The River Cities' Reader. Slowfish, Oil, and more. He's appeared as a music expert on CNN's AC360, and in 2013 he's been quoted on CNN, Babble, The Huffington Post, and The Good Men Project, in addition to making appearances on ABC News and WGN.
Learn more here.