D.O.N.T.: OTLA supports province-wide campaign targeting distracted drivers

Launch of D.O.N.T. at Queen's Park on June 6, 2013
Launch of D.O.N.T. at Queen's Park on June 6, 2013

L-R: John O’Toole, MPP (Durham); Inspector Andre Phelps, Ontario Provincial Police; Christine Elliott, MPP (Whitby–Oshawa); Gail Robertson, spokesperson, Southland Insurance; Rob Milligan, MPP (Northumberland–Quinte West); Jeff Yurek, MPP (Elgin–Middlesex–London); April Ferguson, FAIR; Ruth Wilcock, Executive Director, Ontario Brain Injury Association; Melanie Gardin, Chapman Gordon Gardin Stewart LLP, chair of the D.O.N.T. committee and member of OTLA; Linda Langston, Executive Director, OTLA; Laura Kay, Executive Director, Brain Injury Association of Windsor-Essex; John Dumas, Rehabilitation Management Inc.; Tammy Dumas, Associate Director, Ontario Brain Injury Association; Russell Davies, Director, Brain Injury Association of Peel and Halton; Wendy Dueck, Fund Development & Public Engagement Offi cer, Ontario Brain Injury Association; Michael Prue, MPP (Beaches–East York). Not pictured: The Honourable Glen Murray, Minister of Transportation and Minister of Innovation; the Honourable Teresa Piruzza, Minister of Children and Youth Services; Linda Jeffrey, MPP (Brampton–Singleton); Peter Tabuns, MPP (Toronto– Danforth).

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, launched on June 6, 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 and Southland Insurance. OTLA is the provincial sponsor, partnering with the coalition to take the message province-wide.

“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 have been promoting the D.O.N.T. campaign at local events. Drivers of all ages have been 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.

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