SAINT-AUGUSTIN-DE-DESMAURES, Québec (BRAIN) — Garneau employees distributed “Don’t text and drive” wristbands and stickers to motorists at Tim Hortons restaurants in Quebec on Friday, in preparation for Sunday’s second edition of the brand’s Don’t Text and Drive International Day. Garneau launched the day last year in memory of cyclist Jason Lowndes, 23, who lost his life on Dec. 22, 2017, following a crash close to his home in Australia.
“Jason’s death, along with many others before and after him, such as Canadian cyclist Ellen Watters, the victim of a distracted driver on December 28, 2016, is so pointless,” said company founder Louis Garneau. “We talk about well-known people because their story inevitably ends up in the media, but no one is safe! The lives wasted because of a text message that could have waited, because of a distraction that should have been resisted, result in as many devastated families and drivers whose life will forever be haunted by a gesture that could have been so easily avoided. We beg you, leave you phone aside when you drive! Think of all the lives, yours included, that could be destroyed by one single second of distraction! It doesn’t only happen to others.”
The campaign is being supported by Québec officials including Genevieve Guilbault, the deputy premier, minister of public security and minister responsible for the Capitale-Nationale region. “Texting while driving is a real problem in our society, and I am proud to see, for the second year, the great social commitment of Garneau and its employees to bring awareness to the population,” Guilbault said.
Proceeds from sales of “Don’t text and drive” wristbands and jerseys are being spent on an awareness campaign that includes several publicity signs along major highways in Quebec City, Levis and Montreal, as well as an international awareness effort on social media. The wristbands are being sold for $5 a pair on the Garneau website.
Garneau is asking drivers to sign a pledge on its website to refrain from texting from driving.