Northmead school wins Rock Eisteddfod

Northmead Creative and Performing Arts School took out first place in the premier division with their performance The Last Message at the 2012 Rock Eisteddfod Challenge on Friday.

Northmead Creative and Performing Arts wowed the audience with a performance inspired by the classic musical West Side Story and the implications of texting whilst driving.

Watch the Sun's video interview with student Tayla Campbell and the production's creative director Warren Flanagan:

The 100 person cast aimed to spread the word about how dangerous texting while driving is.

They also held a fund-raiser for the Tabba and Maddy Garay Appeal, which supports the Baulkham Hills family of 75-year-old Jane Garay who collided with a tree in July and died in the crash with her granddaughter Tabitha.

Tayla said seeing online US documentary The Last Text at school really brought home to her the importance of not sending or reading text messages in the car.

"It was so graphic," Tayla Campbell, of Mt Druitt, said of the video that follows five people and includes fatalities.

Jake McDonald, of Blacktown, plays The Rebel in Northmead's performance.

"Now when I see someone texting next to me [in a car] I think 'Oh, my God'," he said.

Tayla explains the plot of the performance: "Jett [Josh O'Grady from Kings Langley] shoots The Rebel when Maria gets back together with him at a party," she said.

Panicked, Jett forces her into a car and the pair start receiving text messages asking if everything is OK which leads to a collision with a brick wall.

Information on the Roads and Maritime Services website says the risk of accident is quadrupled when people text while driving.

"For younger and inexperienced drivers, the risks are even greater; this is why using hands-free phones is not allowed for L and P1 plate drivers," the website stated.

Tayla said seeing the injuries from being in a collision caused by texting had a far greater impact on her and her friends than any fine.

Details: www.rockchallenge.com.au.

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