So, starting this program just over 18 months ago now has been challenging and rewarding. Our attempts to take a proactive approach to preventing injuries and fatalities caused by distracted driving was simply inspired by wanting to do something before someone I care about got hurt.
I have been hit in two car crashes myself, so I have an intimate knowledge of the physical and emotional damage caused by someone else’s carelessness behind the wheel. Tim, our resident (retired) fire fighter with the Surrey Fire Service spent 27 years literally picking up the pieces after thousands of crashes or collisions. Cpl. Bryan Fedirchuk, our valued Surrey RCMP member has investigated an untold number of collisions and is still tirelessly serving and protecting our roadways as a motor officer. There is no shortage of stories between these two speakers from our education program.
But, just three months after launching our efforts, my story became particularly personal when my young daughter was injured because of a distracted driver. As they say, NOW it’s personal. While we continue to work through various issues from that day, we are beyond thankful to still have her here with us. Too many Canadian (and other) families are dealing with tragic outcomes from distracted driving; the good news is we can all play a part in being the solution.
It was our pleasure to be invited to speak at a number of high schools during our Ontario trip and to help bring awareness to the Leave the Phone Alone pledge. It was our absolute honor to have Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson and City Councillor Shad Qadri present us with the Safer Roads Ottawa Champions Award for our national road safety education efforts.