TORONTO, June 6, 2013 /CNW/ - Do you text when you drive? Here's a
simple message: "D.O.N.T." 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 D.O.N.T. campaign was launched today at a special
event at Queen's Park, attended by the Honourable Glen Murray,
Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure, and the Honourable
Teresa Piruzza, Minister of Children and Youth Services. The campaign
will remind 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.iDONTpledge.com. Participants can also tweet their support of the campaign with the
"The D.O.N.T. campaign was developed by the partners of the Windsor
Essex County Injury Prevention Coalition in response to Ontario's ban
on hand-held devices while driving, which took effect on October 26,
2009," said Elsie Galbraith of the Windsor Essex Injury Prevention
Coalition. "The campaign was truly a grassroots injury prevention
initiative aimed at young adults to teach them the consequences of
texting and driving. In fact, high school students came up with the
name and helped the campaign grow over the last four years. We are
delighted the whole province can benefit from this important message."
"The Ontario Trial Lawyers Association is proud to be the provincial
sponsor partnering to spread the D.O.N.T message across the
province—that brain injuries from motor vehicle collisions caused by
distracted driving can be prevented," said Linda Langston, Executive
Director/CEO of OTLA. "Our members across Ontario are determined to do
whatever they can to help prevent these terrible injuries.
Participating in the D.O.N.T. campaign, along with the many other
safety initiatives we champion, means we can all work together to keep
our communities safe."
"Any time someone picks up the phone while driving, they increase their
chance of a collision and worse still is the risk of injury or even
death," said Gail Robertson, spokesperson for Southland Insurance. "We
need to keep talking about this issue with our children, with our
co-workers and our peers. We need to change our habits and that's what
we hope the D.O.N.T. campaign will do—make this a dinner-table and
water-cooler topic of discussion."
Robertson says laws are important but it's attitudes that must be
changed. "No update is worth dying for and we need to keep hammering
home that message and make it socially unacceptable to text and drive."
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.iDONTpledge.com.
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)
About OBIA: The Ontario Brain Injury Association (OBIA) is a provincial not-for
profit, charitable organization. Its mission is to enhance the lives of
Ontarians living with the effects of acquired brain injury (ABI)
through education, awareness and support. OBIA's services include:
training programs for survivors, caregivers and professionals; industry
workshops and conferences; applied research on ABI in the province of
Ontario; 1-800 toll free helpline; personal advocacy; and a
province-wide peer support program for people living with ABI. www.obia.ca
About Windsor Essex Injury Prevention Coalition: The Windsor - Essex County Injury Prevention Coalition is dedicated to
making the Windsor and Essex County community the safest place to live,
work and play.
About OTLA: Founded in 1991, the Ontario Trial Lawyers Association (OTLA) is an
organization of more than 1,400 plaintiff lawyers, law clerks,
articling students and law students. Our purpose is to promote access
to justice for all Ontarians, preserve and improve the civil justice
system, and advocate for the rights of those who have suffered injury
and losses as the result of wrongdoing by others, while at the same
time advocating strongly for safety initiatives. For more information,
visit www.otla.com or call 905-639-6852.
About Southland Insurance: Southland Insurance Brokers Inc. was founded in 1958. We specialize in
auto, home, business, travel and motorcycle insurance, offering expert
advice for all your insurance needs. Our professional brokers work with
leading insurers to deliver the best personalized coverage possible. We
believe in supporting a variety of community programs and charities and
are extremely proud of our role as a community partner for the D.O.N.T.
campaign. Visit www.SouthlandOnline.com for more information.
Photos from the launch are available on request.
SOURCE: Ontario Brain Injury Association
For further information:
Ontario Brain Injury Association
Telephone: 905-641-8877 x238
Ontario Trial Lawyers Association
Fund Development & Public Engagement Officer
Ontario Brain Injury Association
Telephone: 905-641-8771 x242