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News Release
"Like Mike" Movie Prompts Safety Warning
July 3, 2002 (2002 - 017)
Contacts:  Roy Hemmingway, Chairman, 503 378-6611; Joan H. Smith, Commissioner, 503 378-6611; Lee Beyer, Commissioner, 503 378-6611; Bob Valdez, Public Information Officer, 503 378-8962
Salem, OR – Oregon Public Utility Commission safety experts are concerned a just-released movie could encourage children to ignore the dangers of high-voltage power lines.
In the movie "Like Mike", the main character, played by actor/musician ‘Lil Bow Wow,’ retrieves a pair of basketball shoes from a power line. While he is trying to retrieve the shoes he is hit by lightning and falls out of the tree with himself and the shoes now "electrically charged" and goes on to become a professional basketball star.
"When children see this kind of behavior in a movie there’s a good chance they will try to imitate it," OPUC Senior Utility Analyst Bob Sipler said. "It’s very important for parents whose children may see this movie to tell their children how dangerous it is to climb near power lines and especially try to retrieve shoes. In real life people get hurt instead of being transformed into a NBA star."
Utility companies go to great lengths every year to teach kids to stay away from power lines because they are dangerous.
Over a 22-year period, Oregon has averaged at least one injury a year involving a child coming into contact with a power line. Fortunately there were no such incidents in 2000 and 2001.
20th Century Fox is scheduled to release the movie this week.
Oregon Public Utility Commission safety staff provide the following advice.
  • DON’T climb or play in trees that are near power lines.
  • DON’T fly kites near overhead power lines.
  • DON’T use metal ladders, pipes, wires or antennas near electric power lines.
  • DON’T touch or get close to fallen power lines.
  • DON’T trim trees near power lines.
  • DON’T climb high-voltage towers or poles.
  • DON’T play around high-voltage substations and equipment.