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Werner Herzog turns camera on texting-and-driving tragedies

Mobile carriers take their "It Can Wait" campaign high-brow, recruiting the prolific filmmaker for 30-second spots and a short film about people devastated by texting-and-driving accidents.

Officer Chad Vernon shows a photograph from a fatal texting-while-driving car crash in a scene from Werner Herzog's documentary.
Screenshot by Joan E. Solsman/CNET

Over his multidecade career as a filmmaker, Werner Herzog has often documented people with impossible dreams. His latest endeavor turns his camera on people with dreams shattered by texting while driving.

In the short film "From One Second to the Next," Herzog combines and expands on stories told in 30-second "Texting & Driving ... It Can Wait" ads launched in May by the four major wireless carriers.

"When you get a message while driving, it's hard not to pick up your phone," Herzog said in a statement about the documentary. "With this film, we want to help make people more aware of the potential consequences of that action."

In addition to a Los Angeles premiere for the film Thursday night and its availablility online, the free documentary is also being distributed to more than 40,000 high schools across the country, as well as hundreds of safety organizations and government agencies.

AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon have been supporting the multimillion dollar ad campaign hoping to reduce texting while driving in the U.S.

Herzog's filmmaking career stretches back some five decades. His more recent films include "Grizzly Man," "Rescue Dawn" (with Batman portrayer Christian Bale), and "Bad Lieutenant - Port of Call: New Orleans," and older works range from "Nosferatu" to "Fitzcarraldo" and "Aguirre, The Wrath of God."