A youtube video with a reenacted gaffer scene gets millions of views on social networks – and causes some shocked reactions among viewers.
Firefighters attest to the realistic portrayal of the scene by the makers elena isabel walter from osnabruck and emanuel luca zander-fusillo from dortmund. ADAC calls for more drastic penalties for gawkers and people who obstruct rescue workers during operations.
In the video "bystanders – don’t be a gawper" three young people are shown driving home from vacation in a car in a good mood. When they discover a burning car, their curiosity is aroused. They take photos and videos with their smartphones, pose in front of a fire truck and take photos of the accident victim. They ignore the requests of the rescue workers to move away from the scene of the accident. On the contrary: they react snottily. Finally, one of the three young people makes a shocking discovery: the victim of the accident is his mother.
The video of walter and zander-fusillo has been shared and spread a lot on different internet-platforms. In the comments on the youtube page of the two filmmakers from the dortmunder agency blickfanger, users write that they had experienced similar situations themselves and that the video had brought tears to their eyes.
The film, which is about four and a half minutes long, was produced in osnabruck in the summer of 2017 with the help of the volunteer fire department as well as a citizens’ association and the sparkasse savings bank. The two filmmakers came up with the idea when they got the impression from the news that gaffers are acting more and more radically and recklessly, as 26-year-old walter said.
She says she often rides the two-year-old zander fusillo on highways and has witnessed situations where gawkers interfere with the work of rescue workers. "In the script, we took the storyline to extremes, but we got a lot of feedback from firefighters that they had experienced similar and worse situations."
The chief of the osnabruck fire department, dietrich bettenbrock, reported that his colleagues also have material stolen during operations. It has become commonplace for people to flash their cell phones and for rescue workers to have to make room for themselves, says bettenbrock. It would be natural if people became curious in the face of an accident. When onlookers photographed or filmed victims, however, they crossed borders.
The issue of gawkers does not affect ADAC directly, said dirk matthies, head of the traffic department in the weser-ems area. Nevertheless, he urged the responsible state authorities to impose penalties that go beyond the already existing catalog of punishments. That could also be drastic sentences like imprisonment, he said. "The possible penal consequences should be made more public so that they can have a deterrent effect."
According to the ADAC, photographing or filming an accident is a criminal offense punishable by up to two years in prison or a fine. Fines of 20 to 1000 euros can be imposed for the gawking itself.
Elena isabel walter hopes that her film will make people think and sensitize them to the issue. This does not only apply to rescue workers who are on duty in the event of accidents, as she emphasized: "the fact that firefighters were attacked with bangers on new year’s eve shocked us."