The founder of Derry business Bubble-Bum has joined forces with local schoolchildren to launch a major new road safety initiative .
Grainne Kelly, founder of the award-winning kids inflatable car booster seat business, visited St. Patrick’s Primary School, Pennyburn on Thursday to launch #I Love You Enough, which is targeted at driver distraction.
Grainne is now asking children to request their parents take a pledge: “#I Love You Enough to never touch my mobile phone while driving.” Once they have made the pledge at www.ILoveYouEnough.com, they are encouraged to share it on social media.
Grainne developed the campaign following a recent ‘Safer Roads, Safer Kids’ Conference in the USA. The Derry businesswoman witnessed a fatal crash while travelling to the airport and met teenage survivors of ‘distracted driving’ while at the conference.
She said: “I was so moved by their experiences and knowing that over 500 children around the world die on the roads every day, I had to try and do something to prevent drivers being distracted by their phones. If you are touching your phone you are distracted. It is that simple. Distracted driving, speeding and poor road infrastructure are the three main causes of crashes globally. By taking the pledge not to touch their phone while driving, drivers will be making a meaningful difference to the safety of themselves, their loved ones and others on the road.”
Eamon Devlin, principal of St Patrick’s P.S., said he was very proud that their school was part of this pilot scheme.
“We protect the children while in school. It is important that parents and carers do the same when driving,” he said.
“I hope everyone takes the pledge and upholds it.”
The campaign is also supported by the PSNI, and Inspector Rosie Leech said: “Drivers have a responsibility to pay attention to changing road conditions, anticipate what other road users might do and concentrate on their own driving performance, particularly when children and young people are involved.
“Switch your phone to silent, place it out of reach or install an App that rewards the driver for ignoring calls whilst driving, are all tactics that will assist a driver to deal with the temptation. The results of being distracted while driving can be catastrophic.”
Businesses can download an App called ROMEX which makes it impossible to access messages while the vehicle is in motion, and anyone can join the campaign and take the pledge at: www.ILoveYouEnough.com