Saint John Police launch campaign to reduce distracted driving
SAINT JOHN, N.B. -- The Saint John Police are enforcing a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to distracted driving, a decision that, as many officers and everyday people can attest, can be not only dangerous it can be deadly
Their campaign video is designed to drive the message home by putting the victim in the passenger's seat, pleading with the driver.
The video stars well-known Elvis tribute artist Thane Dunn, who drew on his own real-life experience with a distracted driver for the role.
"June 2019, my family and I were out on the road in Mountain Road in Moncton and ker-smash, a big huge truck hit us and it was terrifying," Dunn says.
The crash and the trauma of that day a little over one year ago has had a lasting effect on Dunn and his family.
He says both he and his wife have been diagnosed with PTSD and now need to go to physiotherapy.
"I suffer from anxiety every place I go to when I have to drive," Dunn said. "You feel it's going to happen at any time and my son is terrified being in the car."
The PSA is part of a campaign by the Saint John Police called 'when You're Distracted, Who Is Driving?'
They say the issue, has reached a boiling point.
"Anyone who has been in an accident, anyone who knows someone has been in an accident, knows it takes just a moment in time, you take the eyes off the road, that something can happen, and something tragic can happen," said Jim Hennessy, the Saint John police spokesperson.
According to statistics on distracted driving 26 per cent of all car crashes involve the use of a phone.
The likelihood of a collision increased by 3.6 times when a driver is using an electronic device and if a driver is texting, they are 23 times more likely to be involved in a crash or a near collision.
"If you are texting for five seconds, it would be like going, 100 kilometres an hour, you would cover the length of a football field," says Gary Howard. "Can you imagine driving and closing your eyes for five seconds?"
Dunn offers a passionate plea to keep your focus on the road -- and off your phone.
"Don't do to somebody else what's happened to us," Dunn says. "Pull over, wait, don't text and drive, you can really mess someone up, you can kill somebody -- so please don't do that."
This campaign is designed to show that it only takes that one moment of taking your eyes off the road to -- check your email, or send someone a text -- that you can end up drastically changing not only the course of your life, but the lives of others as well.