Posted by Editoress on 12/21/20
For the third year, Louis Garneau has launched a "Don't Text and Drive" campaign. This initiative raises awareness of driving distractions. The campaign will go on until the international "Don't Text and Drive" day on December 22nd.
Still affected by the loss of his Australian friend Jason Lowndes, killed by a distracted driver on 22nd of December 2017, as well as the young Canadian cyclist Ellen Watters killed on December 23, 2016, for the exact same reasons, Louis Garneau notes that things haven't improved much since. "I am very concerned by the number of accidents still happening on the roads and resulting of texting while driving and distractions. With friends cycling everywhere in the world, I realize that this reality is the same all over the planet. I receive several accounts of incidents every year about tragic accidents that have happened involving distracted driving. This year, I want the campaign to be spread all over the globe. I am pleading with the population once again to drive safe, to not text and drive and to keep their eyes on the road at all time."
In the province of Quebec, texting while driving is considered as a distraction in a recent report of car accidents. According to the SAAQ (automobile insurance Quebec society), more than a third of all accidents causing bodily injuries were caused by distractions this year, an increasing number year after year.
In the next few days, many of ambassadors will discuss driving distractions on their social media audiences. These "Don't Text and Drive" ambassadors are international cycling personalities, such as world championship medalists Lea Davidson and Mike Woods, several cycling federations and Jason Lowndes' parents and friends, among many others.
There won't be any public events due to COVID-19 restrictions, but many Garneau key stores in North America were given "Don't Text and Drive" wristbands to distribute in past weeks. A commemorative ride will also take place this Saturday in Jason's hometown in Australia, called "Lolly for Lowndesy" to remind people of the importance of sharing the roads and promoting the Garneau "Don't Text and Drive" campaign.
In his home province of Québec, Louis Garneau has teamed up with cycling Olympians Marc Blouin (1972 & 1976) and Ivan Waddell (1988 & 1992) as honorary campaign co-presidents to raise awareness on driving distractions on local roads. "We're good friends and ride together every Saturday. Just as any other cyclist around the world, we wish for safer roads in our area."
Garneau invites everyone to sign their pledge to not text and drive Here.
"Be cautious while driving, an accident can happen so fast. Let's keep our phones in our pockets." -Hugo Houle, 2-time Tour de France rider and Olympian
" One of the biggest cause of accidents on our roads are because of texting and driving. How many more deaths will it need for everyone to understand? PLEASE don't text and drive."-Antoine Duchesne, Pro cyclist, Tour de France participant, Olympian, Canadian champion
"Cyclists killed by distracted drivers aren't statistics. They're people just like you and me. They have families and friends. In 2017, my friend Jason Lowndes was killed by a distracted driver. Since then, I notice too many people texting while driving, too often. I get angry because now every time I get out riding, I worry about what might happen to me, I worry for my friends, I worry for my family..." - Bruno Langlois, Canadian champion, coach, Former Teammate of Jason
"I spent many hours on my bike during the summer. Unfortunately, I can still witness many drivers using their cellphone while driving. It often results in hazardous driving and puts us at risk. Don't Text and Drive!" - Marc Blouin, Cycling Olympian, 1972, 1976
"Whether we ride to the grocery store or on a training ride with a road bike, we're all at risk. We're all concerned by this texting while driving issue. We all drive a car, ride a bike or walk on the sidewalk pretty much every day. We must respect each other and look for one another when we're on the road. Be careful, be watchful. Don't Text and Drive!" - Simone Boilard, Cycling World Championship medalist, 2018
"I support Garneau's 'Don't Text and Drive' campaign one hundred percent. I spend the majority of my time training on the roads and distracted driving has made road riding incredibly dangerous. I worry about getting hit by a car when I go for a ride. I beg you to put your phone away while driving. Before you read that text message, please remember that my life and so many other lives are at stake. We have already lost too many to texting while driving. That text message is not worth it. Please put your phone down or on do not disturb mode while driving and create a safer world." - Lea Davidson, Mountain Bike World Championship medalist and Olympian, 2012
"With a phone seemingly always at our side it is so easy to think that you are missing an event, or that you need to send a quick message off. However, only the smallest moment of inattention while driving can cost someone their life. Please put your phones down, and don't text while driving!" - Mike Woods, Cycling World Championship medalist and Olympian, 2016
"Riding at high speeds on the track might seem dangerous but I always put as much attention, for my safety, when I'm out training on the road. These days, drivers are more distracted than ever. It's so easy to think only one quick text while driving isn't a risk. Please don't take that chance. PLEASE DON'T TEXT AND DRIVE. It's a risk that can easily be avoided and not taking that risk will make the roads that much safer for everyone." - Hugo Barrette, Canadian track cyclist, Olympian
"I love to discover new places with my bike. PLEASE keep your eyes on the road NOT on your cell in order to see us from far." - Ivan Waddell, Cycling Olympian, 1988, 1992
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