The family of a 20-year-old woman who died in a car crash in December has launched a campaign to tell people about the dangers of texting while driving.By Jemima Lewis
Don’t text and drive — it’s a commonsense message that has exploded across social media in the past week.
The message pays tribute to 20-year-old hairdresser Brooke Richardson, who died in a tragic accident due to texting in December.
Brooke’s mother Vicki uploaded a YouTube video relating to the newly established ‘‘Don’t Txt-n-Drive’’ campaign last week.
This video, along with a website, sends out the campaign’s simple tagline — ‘‘don’t txt-n-drive’’.
Ms Richardson has been pleasantly surprised at the response to the campaign.
She said what started as a promotion to raise awareness had snowballed.
‘‘I haven’t had to contact anyone — I’ve got people everywhere coming to me,’’ she said.
She hopes to attract attention from transport organisations and companies over time.
Ms Richardson and her family are running the awareness campaign to simply do its job — to stop drivers from using their mobiles to text while behind the wheel.
‘‘There are so many ads for drink-driving, using drugs and speeding, but there is nothing on texting,’’ she said.
‘‘We need to get it out there.’’
Donation boxes will eventually be set up selling stickers and awareness pins.
‘‘We would love to have some set up around Cobram,’’ she said.
Brooke was a new hairdresser at Cobram’s Osroc hair salon.
On December 4, she was driving from her family home in Mulwala to Cobram for work when she crashed into a tree.
Brooke had been working at the Cobram salon for about six weeks.
Ms Richardson said the job had provided a much-needed fresh start for Brooke.
‘‘This job was the start of something new,’’ she said.
‘‘It was the happiest she had ever been — being over there in Cobram was the best thing to happen to her.’’
Ms Richardson emphasised how the simplest change to driving habits could prevent a tragedy.
‘‘People always think, ‘It won’t happen to me’,’’ she said.
‘‘But it can — and it takes just five seconds.’’
She encourages people to think about the difference five minutes can make.
‘‘Brooke was 5
‘‘She could have waited until she got to work (to text).’’
The awareness campaign is quickly gaining momentum — and Ms Richardson said her daughter’s legacy would forever live on through its message.
‘‘I have to be strong — I don’t want to be sad my whole life,’’ she said.
‘‘I want to make her proud and do the ultimate for her.’’
Mrs Richardson is sure that Brooke is lending a hand.
‘‘It’s funny how things happen — I’m sure she’s doing something from up there,’’ she said.
The video can be found at www.youtube.com/watch?v=P8pdU06Vtto and had received almost 7000 views yesterday.
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