November 26, 2014
This week, the London Middlesex Road Safety Committee marked the launch of “Buckle Up, Phone Down” as part of the broader London Road Safety Strategy. Complete with its own hash tag, #PhoneDownLdn, the initiative aims to bring awareness to distracted driving.
The London Middlesex Road Safety Committee includes the LHSC’s Trauma Program, Middlesex London Health Unit, Ministry of Transportation, City of London, County of Middlesex, London Police Services, OPP, Fanshawe College, Western University’s Police Services, London Block Parent and the Josh Field Support Network. All partners work collaboratively to decrease traffic related fatalities and injuries in London and Middlesex.
Jane Harrington, injury prevention specialist, LHSC, and co-chair of the London Middlesex Road Safety, has been advocating for greater awareness of crashes as a result of distracted driving through her work with the community and through LHSC’s Impact Program. “Eliminating distractions while driving, such as cell phone use, will reduce crashes and certainly save lives,” says Harrington. “By joining with our community partners we can make a difference in our community.”
Previously, LHSC’s trauma program partnered with the Josh Field Support Network, a non-profit, family based organization, with the mission of raising awareness of the dangers of distracted driving. Together, they created a video that is shown during Impact presentations that provide a personal and relevant experience. The video - “Distracted Driving - Josh’s Story” – focuses on the impact that one moment of distraction still has on Josh’s family, friends and a community four years after Josh was tragically killed in a motor vehicle collision.
While London Police Services engaged in a one-day enforcement effort in the community on Nov. 24, the Fields shared their personal story with the community.
“This campaign is aimed at reducing distracted driving and making our roads safer,” continues Harrington. “The London Middlesex Road Safety Committee is working to reduce fatal collisions by 10 per cent in London and Middlesex County over the next 5 years.”