A bereaved mother has launched a new campaign to highlight the dangers posed by pedestrians wearing headphones and using smartphones around busy roads.
The campaign, ‘Stop – Pause – Look – Listen’, is designed to raise awareness of the importance of concentration by all road users.
In 2014, there were 446 pedestrian casualties in the UK according to the government figures, making up 25% of all casualties. However, the 2014 National Travel Survey shows that walking comprises just 3% of average distance travelled.
Dona Unsworth is the driving force behind the campaign. In January 2015, she lost her 18-year-old son, Jack, after he was hit by a 7.5 ton truck while crossing a road in Manchester city centre. The coroner concluded that witness and forensic evidence pointed to Jack wearing headphones at the time of the collision.
Driven by a desire to create something positive from the tragedy, Dona now hopes that organisations will help fund and support her campaign to help spread the message.
The campaign already has its own website and film, produced in association with media students from Salford University. Several printing companies have also helped by producing posters, vinyl banners and car bumper stickers for free.
Done Unsworth said: “After losing Jack in a senseless road accident, I needed to focus my energies on creating something positive from the nightmare I found myself in.
“This tragedy and others like it could possibly have been avoided if there had been a national road safety campaign highlighting the dangers of headphones and mobile phone technology. As there hasn’t been anything of note since the Green Cross Code, I decided to create one myself, with the help of my husband Graham.
“People need to realise that this bubble of music and social media they surround themselves with can burst tragically and those seconds of distraction can haunt you and your loved ones for a lifetime. We aren’t out to spoil people’s enjoyment. We want to save lives.
“We are determined this will become a national campaign that will be shown in every school in the UK, and hopefully on TV. However, we don’t have the funds or the logistics to take it to the next level so we are trying to find someone who can.
“We also want to set up a charity in Jack’s name to help parents who are suffering from the sudden loss of a child, and hope that the proceeds from the sale of posters/t-shirts/banners etc could be funnelled into this charity.”