Just 18 months after its launch, grassroots road safety organization Drop It And Drive (DIAD) is taking its message to the nation’s capital.
Retired Capt. Tim Baillie (Surrey Fire Service), Cpl. Bryan Fedirchuck (Surrey RCMP), and Surrey mom and founder Karen Bowman are travelling to Ontario on June 3 for a week of events taking place in Ottawa and Kingston to raise awareness about distracted driving.
“This is an exciting opportunity for us and ironically, one of the high schools we’re presenting to is in the same neighbourhood where I lived for eight years,” says Bowman. “While the penalties may differ across the nation, the message is the same: Distracted driving is killing and injuring Canadians.”
On May 15, as part of National Road Safety Week, Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson and Coun. Marianne Wilkinson encouraged all residents of the City of Ottawa to take the Leave the Phone Alone pledge and commit to not phone or text while driving.
DIAD invites Surrey Mayor Watts, Vancouver Mayor Robertson and all other British Columbia mayors to join them in encouraging their communities to sign the national Leave the Phone Alone Pledge. As it stands, only 24 per cent of pledges are from Western Canada; DIAD wants that number to skyrocket.
To date, DIAD has delivered nearly 100 presentations to more than 5,000 high school students, faculty and corporations across B.C., Alberta and Ontario. As a volunteer-based organization, DIAD relies on its partnerships with the Surrey Fire Service, Surrey RCMP and Young Drivers of Canada to deliver their powerful reality-based presentations along with support from their Gold Community Sponsor, Klein Lyons and Bronze Community Sponsors, Young Drivers of Canada and the Canadian Automobile Association.
“Recognizing that driver distraction is one of the most common contributors to traffic collisions, ensuring the safety of all road users is of paramount concern to CAA,” said Tim Georgeoff, president and CEO of CAA North and East Ontario. “Enforcement along with public awareness and education are critical to change. The upcoming Drop It And Drive presentations are assured to help raise awareness regarding the inherent dangers associated with distracted driving.”