Film ID:
YFA 4637

IT HAPPENED TODAY

1947

Visitor Tabs

Description

As a road Safety film shot in the West Riding of Yorkshire, this film contains fascinating views of different areas of Yorkshire, such as Bradford city centre during the late 1940s. Throughout, the filmmakers employ carefully choreographed examples of accidents in order to illustrate the dangers of reckless road users. The stunts involved are clearly dangerous and often involve speeding motorcars.

Title - Produced in the interests of Road Safety by the West Riding Constabulary.

Title - Commentary by Patrick Holt by permission of the J. Arthur Rank organisation LTD.

Title - Sound recorded by Leevers, Rich & Co. Limited.

The film opens with still images of various car wrecks after roads accidents have occurred. Shots taken from the interior of a car as it travels through a busy street in Bradford follow. Cars are then shown waiting at a set of traffic lights, before pulling away as the lights change. A car then travels along another street with tram tracks running along the road, and the next shot shows the car about to enter one of the city's busiest junctions in the heart of Bradford. The voiceover says the cyclists, motorists and pedestrians should be aware that even the most insignificant of incidents can be a catalyst of a major accident. The voiceover comments that, on a busy city centre street, a moment indecision can be fatal, and a man wearing flat cap steps into the road before deciding against it.

There are then shots from the car interior driving down a quiet country lane, with the car narrowly avoiding two pedestrians, who have to run out the way to avoid the car. A police car then drives towards the camera, and shot inside the car show one speaking into a loud speaker, with following shot showing the speaker mounted on the cars bumper amplifying the policeman's voice as he says, "Careful there. Better to be safe than sorry".

A police car then pulls into the police station garage and officers talk to a senior officer, while the voiceover says, "These officers will show us some of the most common mistakes made by motorists". A fade occurs and the officers are now dressed in civilian clothing of that period. The group disband, before a police sign on the roof of a squad car disappears after a jump cut.

One of the plain clothes officers walks down a street and enters a local newsagents. Exiting, the man keeps his head down in the paper as he crosses the street, forcing traffic to swerve out the way. The next scenario involves a group of men standing on the pavement chatting. One man steps out and is nearly knocked down by a car.

The next scenario shows a man deciding against crossing the road as a car bears down on him. Walking to a marked crossing, he gives an oncoming car little warning as he steps out into the road, with the car having to brake sharply. A lorry then parks up safely against a curb. A mother then walks out with her pram from behind it without looking, and her pram is nearly hit by an oncoming car.

A woman then walks down the street with a small shopping basket, with the voiceover commenting, "My, my, haven't we been busy". She then steps out into the road, causing a car to honk at her as it swerves to avoid her. Startled by the honk, the woman falls to the ground scattering her shopping across the road. She then picks up her parcels at a rather pedestrian pace, forcing other drivers to avoid her.

A group of people stop to chat on the pavement, blocking the path of two other pedestrian, who are nearly ran over as they step onto the road to pass. A man then exits a shop. The shop has a sign outside that reads 'F.Rossell', and the man nearly causes an accident as he steps into the path of an oncoming vehicle; no doubt distracted by his fresh packets of cigarettes. A shot then shows a road sign that reads, 'Halt at major road ahead'. Another incident occurs where a man cycles in a junction without looking and a car has to swerve to avoid him. The next sequence shows a man on a bicycle holding onto the back of a truck, which the voiceover condemns him for.

Sequences then show various bicycle accidents with cyclist carrying to larger loads, cycling in groups and hitting car doors. There are then a few car incidents with drivers having to swerve out the way of oncoming obstacles or other vehicles.

A man exits a post office and a close up of the sign reads, 'Long Preston post office'. The voiceover states that the man has just collected his pension, and is ready to return to his hamlet home. The elderly gentleman then crosses the road at a designated crossing, where a speeding car nearly runs him over.

There are then more scenes that illustrate the importance of driving properly; a man backs out onto a main road causing a car to swerve, a car then takes a corner without indicating and a race between two cars on a country road nearly causes an accident, as one vehicle drives into oncoming traffic.

A car is loaded with goods by a farmer, who ties several sacks to the roof. The farmer drives down a rural road and swerves sharply, causing a sack to fall from the roof and into the path of an oncoming vehicle. A car then tries to overtake on a country road, nearly causing an accident as the driver is forced to swerve into a ditch. At a train crossing, the gates close in preparation for a train, which speeds past. When the gates are re-opened, one impatient driver pulls out as another car tries to overtake. The overtaking car is forced onto the pavement and strikes a pedestrian.

Back at the police garage, the officers in plain clothes reappear, with the voiceover saying that their antics were most educational, and that we must now let them get back to their work. The voiceover says, 'Cheerio-O".

Title - The end.