CANANDAIGUA – Given the success of its “Click It or Ticket” seat belt program, the Ontario County Safety Council is taking on a new initiative. The “One Text or Call Could Wreck It All” campaign is based upon a national program by the same name, and its goal is to lessen the devastating effects that distracted driving can have for young drivers and other motorists.
The new program focuses on drivers in the 16- to 22-year-old range and includes many promotional initiatives, such as signage and overhead announcements at local schools and colleges, bumper stickers, in-vehicle awareness items such as air fresheners and the use of billboards and advertising opportunities. The safety council recently received a grant from the F.F. Thompson Foundation to further support these plans.
“Research shows that younger, less experienced drivers have the highest proportion of distraction related crashes, many of them fatal,” says Thompson Health Disaster Preparedness RN Lynnette Ward, chair of the safety council subcommittee promoting the campaign. “As nurses, police officers and firefighters, many members of our council have seen the devastating results of these crashes, first hand, and we want to do whatever we can to prevent more from happening.”
Ward said the council is currently reaching out to the superintendents of the county’s nine school districts for their help in spreading the word about “One Text or Call Could Wreck It All.”
The Ontario County Safety Council, which sponsors other traffic safety initiatives and fire safety initiatives, awards scholarships to high school students and also holds an annual banquet honoring community members for acts of heroism. Tickets for the 2014 banquet – to be held Tuesday, March 25, at Canandaigua’s Inn on the Lake – are available through the West Ontario Office of the American Red Cross, (585) 394-2260, through March 18. They cost $22 per person.