The “Drive Only… Never Text” campaign helps spread the word that car crashes caused by distracted driving are preventable.
A program that started in Windsor 4 years ago is now province-wide. During the month of June, a coalition of injury prevention advocates is asking Ontarians to pledge to Drive Only… Never Text, or D.O.N.T.
The provincial D.O.N.T. campaign was launched at a special event at Queen’s Park on June 6th 2013, attended by the Honourable Glen Murray, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure, and the Honourable Teresa Piruzza, Minister of Children and Youth Services, and MPPs from across the province. The campaign reminded drivers of all ages that distracted driving—which includes driving while texting or talking on a cell phone—can lead to car crashes and brain injuries.
D.O.N.T. is led by the Ontario Brain Injury Association (OBIA), in partnership with participating local community Brain Injury Associations, the Windsor Essex County Injury Prevention Coalition, the Ontario Ministry of Transportation, Ontario Trial Lawyers Association (OTLA), and Southland Insurance.
“In our work, we see first-hand the devastating effects of motor vehicle collisions causing injuries and fatalities involving our families, friends and neighbours—and many of those collisions are preventable,” said Ruth Wilcock, Executive Director of OBIA. “Through the D.O.N.T. campaign, we are asking people to make a promise to themselves and their peers not to drive while texting or distracted in any way.”
Throughout June—which is also Brain Injury Awareness month—volunteers from brain injury associations (BIAs) across Ontario will be promoting the D.O.N.T. campaign at local events. Drivers of all ages will be asked to pledge to Drive Only… Never Text. Participants can take this pledge by signing an in-person petition with a BIA volunteer, or going to www.iDONT.ca. Participants can also tweet their support of the campaign with the hashtag #iDONTpledge.
Interesting facts about distracted driving:
- Brain injury is the leading killer and disabler of people under the age of 44 and kills more people under the age 20 than any other causes combined. (US Center for Disease Control)
- Acquired brain injury is 15 times more common than spinal cord injury, 30 times more common than breast cancer and 400 times more common than HIV/AIDS. (US Center for Disease Control)
- 40 percent of Acquired Brain Injury survivors sustained their brain injury as a result of an automobile collision (2012 OBIA Impact Report)
- Distracted driving is cited as a causal factor in 30 to 50 per cent of traffic collisions on Ontario, but is probably much higher due to under-reporting. (Ontario Provincial Police)
- Texting while driving is the same as driving blind for 5 seconds at a time (VA. Tech Transportation Institute). In three seconds, at sixty kilometres per hour you travel fifty metres— that's the distance across half a football field. (Ontario Ministry of Transportation)
- In 2012, 83 people were killed in motor vehicle collisions within OPP jurisdiction in which distracted driving was a causal factor. (Ontario Provincial Police)
The province-wide campaign will use billboards, posters, t-shirts, social media, events, public service announcements and other resources to share the D.O.N.T. message. For information and resources about the D.O.N.T. campaign or about distracted driving, visit www.iDONT.ca.
AM800 Radio Interview
2011-2012 D.O.N.T Events
In the newsWall Street Journal
Provincial Campaign Media Release – Newswire
Provincial Campaign Media Release - Jeff Yurek, MPP
Windsor safe driving campaign goes province-wide – CBC
Port Stanley News
The Windsor Star
The Windsor Star Blog
Windsor this Week.ca
Hotel-Dieu Media Release