Drivers on Alberta's Highway 63 and 881 called to pledge to loved ones

Coalition for a Safer 63 and 881 promote signing a personal pledge to educate and inspire safe driving habits

FORT MCMURRAY, AB, Nov. 22, 2013 /CNW/ - Pledge to never make a grown man cry. Pledge to never wish you had died instead. Pledge to never know how gut-wrenching guilt is. These are moments no one ever wants to experience. And this is why 27 oil sands developers, pipeline companies, industry groups, regional municipalities, safety organizations and the media in the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo are urging people to pledge to their loved ones to do their part for a safer journey on Highways 63 and 881.

Coalition for a Safer 63 and 881 board representatives as well as Melissa Blake, mayor of the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo, Bob Couture, RCMP superintendent and Darby Allen, regional fire chief, will join together today to personally take the pledge to be a safer driver. During the signing, Mayor Blake will issue a proclamation recognizing November 22, 2013 as Pledge Day urging drivers "to do all that they can to arrive safely at their destination and ensure the safety of others traveling along these two highways."

Later, Coalition members and volunteers will be attending the Oil Barons game to get hockey fans to sign The Pledge in person.

"Highways 63 and 881 have seen hundreds of vehicle-related injuries and dozens of fatalities over the years. The situation is not without hope, but it requires commitment from each and every traveler of our highways," said Mayor Blake. "I applaud the Coalition for a Safer 63 and 881 for its efforts to raise awareness around driving behaviour."

"The Pledge campaign headlines and messages make people stop and think about their actions and the possible outcomes that may occur if they don't take the proper steps for a safer journey. The Pledge outlines the most important actions you should take before you get on the road and while you are driving," said Debbie Hammond, executive director of the Coalition for a Safer 63 and 881. "By participating and taking The Pledge we hope that drivers will make a public promise to someone they love to change driving behaviours, because one death is one too many."

Individuals can now sign up at thepledge.ca to get resources that will help them share their commitment on social media and through email. Printed pledge forms are also available through local Coalition members and at Country 93.3 and Rock 97.9. Once The Pledge is signed, the individual will then be prompted to share the promise to be a safer driver with their loved ones and their social networks. Pledgers will also receive a gear shift band that reminds them of their commitment while in their vehicles.

"We want everyone to share the word and connect with their broader social networks to allow pledgers to post on their Facebook timelines, tweet their friends or retweet Coalition messages," said Lauren Stewart, Coalition communications committee chair and manager of external communications at ConocoPhillips Canada. "These individuals will join ConocoPhillips and more than 20 other organizations in sharing their commitment to change driving behaviour."

Said Hammond, "It starts with you: Your commitment to being a safe driver ― every time you take control of the wheel."

About the Coalition for a Safer 63 and 881

The tragedies on Highways 63 and 881 point to the need for change, and twinning the highways are only part of the solution. The other part is changing how we drive. That's where the Coalition for a Safer 63 and 881 comes in. We engage and educate drivers, helping them identify their dangerous driving habits and offering them safe alternatives. Our members range from oil sands developers, pipeline companies and industry groups to regional municipalities, safety organizations and the media. We come from different backgrounds but have one important thing in common: a goal to make Highway 63 and Highway 881 safer for our families, friends, employees and stakeholders.

SOURCE: Coaltion for a Safer 63 and 881

For further information:

Lauren Stewart
ConocoPhillips Canada
Lauren.e.piercy@conocophillips.com
403-613-3781
www.ConocoPhillips.ca

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Coaltion for a Safer 63 and 881

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