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People, Life and Thanks on Twitter

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Did you know that you can follow One Second on twitter?

A great social networking media, twitter allows One Second to reach a broad audience and keep the safe driving message at the forefront of people's minds.
One Second on twitter is not about all the terrible things that happen on our roads, nor is it about the not so good decisions people make when they get behind the wheel - @YourOneSecond aims to promote positive thoughts around safe driving and encourage people to feel good about the One Second they have to make a life changing decision.

On twitter yesterday I came across a tool for generating a "Tweet Cloud", which is a bubble of the most commonly used words in your tweet messages. I completed one using three months worth of tweets and I am thrilled with the results. The top 3 words for @YourOneSecond are: People, Thanks and Life.

How fabulously appropriate is that?!

If you don't already, please consider following @YourOneSecond on twitter and making Your One Second count for Life. All of the People in yours will Thank you for it!

One Second for Radio

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Many thanks to Lisa Leong, host of the ABC Radio Eyre Peninsular breakfast program, for helping to spread the One Second safe driving message.

You can listen to the interview with Lisa and myself here.

Get Angry

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I had a conversation with someone today about the effectiveness of anti speeding and drink driving campaigns. The conversation reminded me of the following post that was originally published on my personal blog. I wrote this before I began the One Second campaign, and after re-reading it tonight, I've inspired myself to give some more thought to future One Second installations.

As always, I would love to hear people's thoughts on this.

Today I read a post about this anti speeding campaign.
I noticed the way people were reacting - with sadness - and this started me thinking about my own emotional reaction to speeding and drink driving, and about the overall effectiveness of these ad campaigns.

Losing my husband - That makes me sad. But speeding and drink driving - That makes me angry.

I find this distinction is very important.

From the almighty Wikipedia:

Sadness is a mood characterised by feelings of disadvantage loss, and helplessness. When sad, people often become quiet, less energetic and withdrawn.

Anger is an emotional state that may range from minor irritation to intense rage. The physical effects of anger include increased heart rate, blood pressure, and levels of adrenaline and noradrenaline. Some view Anger as part of the fight or flight brain response to the perceived threat of pain. Anger becomes the predominant feeling behaviourally, cognitively and physiologically when a person makes the conscious choice to take action to immediately stop the threatening behaviour of another outside force.

Most of the campaigns that I've seen are very emotive in nature. They go for shock value. They make people cry. They make people feel sad.
This doesn't make sense to me.

When people think of speeding and drink driving I don't want them to feel sad and helpless, or to become quite, less energetic and withdrawn.
I would rather evoke in people an emotion which “becomes the predominant feeling behaviourally, cognitively and physiologically when a person makes the conscious choice to take action to immediately stop the threatening behaviour of another outside force.

I'm not saying that losing a loved one isn't sad. It is devastating and gut wrenching and tragic and horrible and painful beyond belief.
But doesn't sadness seem like a less effective emotion when it comes to preventing speeding and drink driving?

People who have seen these ad campaigns and been affected by them, they might make a better choice. They might remember the tears shed by grieving families, the tears they shed themselves when they saw those images, and that might be enough to change their minds. Certainly this is a win.

But what about those people who didn't feel that same punch in the guts? Those who are too invincible, too tough, or too smart? Will the people around them be too sad, too helpless, too quiet and too withdrawn to speak up?

M was killed by a drink driver doing twice the speed limit. The driver was speeding to get home in time for their favourite television program.
M was on his way home to celebrate our pregnancy. He was not speeding. He was not drunk. He was killed instantly.

His death is sad, and I grieve for him every day.
But drink driving and speeding don't make me sad, they make me angry.

That driver lived, and he too suffers every day. I know this because I speak to him at least once a month. I am not angry with that driver any more, because we are both healing and because he is now consciously making different choices. He is making good choices.

There are still people out there making bad choices, though.
People choosing to speed.
People choosing to drink and drive.
People choosing to kill.

This makes me angry.

I am all for freedom of choice. If people want to choose to get in the car drunk, go too fast and risk their lives, then power to them.
But that choice doesn't just put their own lives at risk. It puts our lives at risk, too.

This should make us angry!

So yes, be sad for the lives lost and for the families and friends who are grieving - But if you're going to be emotional about speeding and drink driving, don't be sad - Be angry.
Don't be silent and withdrawn - Be loud and be outspoken!
Don't be less energetic - Take action!

Speeding and drink driving are threatening behaviours, from an outside force, and it is time to make a conscious choice to stop it.

ONE Second - Not Two

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One Second is proud to be a part of a driver education program for people who are convicted of drink driving. The program consists of 10 two hour long sessions, held weekly at a community center. In each 10 week program, one of those sessions is facilitated by myself and revolves around the One Second story.

This particular driver education program was set to start again last week. The person who oversees the program contacted me to clarify the date I would be facilitating. She also mentioned that I would recognise one of the participants this time around, as he had completed a driver education program previously and since been convicted of drink driving again.
I am glad she mentioned this, as it gave me the opportunity to remind her of the One Second policy that does not allow people to repeat a One Second session. This does not apply to repeat drink driving offenders, but if the person has been to a One Second night as part of a driver education program before, they are not to attend one again.
This has been a One Second policy from the beginning, it is a condition of One Second being part of the program and it has been agreed upon by the relevant people.

Because attendance at each session is compulsory, not being able to attend the One Second night means not passing the program. So instead of attending this one, the person would need to go to one run at a different center. The person was not impressed.

He complained loudly, to a lot of people - some of them in high places.

Apparently he felt he was being discriminated against because of his prior conviction.

He claimed that the next closest program was 45minutes away, by bus, and that this was too inconvenient.

Further more, he felt that if he was not allowed to attend the program closest to his home, he should be compensated for his extra travel time and bus fair.

When the man found out it was the One Second policy that was preventing him from being able to attend the most 'convenient' driver education program, he wrote me an email.

He said a lot of things - none of them worth responding to, except this bit:

"Doesn't everyone deserve a second chance?"

My response:

Of course. In fact, I'll make you a deal -
My husband was killed by a drink driver, but if you can give him a second chance at life, I'll give you a second chance at the program.

Funny how I haven't heard back.

A Bag of Laughs

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Well, the latest One Second installation happened last night, and I must say it went absolutely nothing like I had imagined!

The aim of the installation - like always - was to provoke One Second of new thought in people that will spring to the front of their minds when it comes time for them to make their One Second count. The method this time involved a steel hospital table and a body bag, and asking people whether they trusted their friends enough to let them zip them up in the body bag - for just One Second.

We arrived at a popular Surf Club shortly after 6pm and decided to bring the table through the back entrance so as not to scare children out with their families. People looked on with interest as we set up the table and the body bag in the bar area.
By 7pm the club slowly started to fill with people, and an invisible barrier began to form around the table. People were hesitant to go near the body bag. Most were intrigued, but kept their interest for quick glances from a safe distance away.

As 8pm came around - with a few drinks under their belts - people started coming forward and allowing their friends to zip them up in a body bag. There was a lot of nervous laughter and most people made their friends promise, over and over again, that they would unzip them. People were nervous and many spent more than just One Second deciding whether or not they would get in the bag.

By 9pm, an abundance of liquid courage saw a constant stream of people being zipped and unzipped in the body bag. There was much laughing and joking and many profanities were exclaimed as people experienced laying on a hard steel table and having a body bag zipped closed around them.
As the evening progressed, the experience appeared to become more novel than thought provoking. People started requesting to be zipped up together, some pretended to fall asleep inside the bag, others wanted to know if they could borrow it to play a prank on someone, and I started to doubt the effectiveness of the installation.

Then a little before 10pm, someone went too far - They zipped up their friend and would not let them out.
At first, the persons muffled protests and awkward movements from inside the bag made people laugh. This laughter, mixed with a large amount of alcohol, spurred on the person responsible for keeping his friend in the body bag, and he continued to hold the zip closed.

Then his friend started to panic.

People stopped laughing and began telling the man to let his friend out, but the man seemed oblivious to the turn his prank was taking.

With all eyes on the body bag, the man finally released his friend, who emerged pale and shaky.
Breathing heavily, the friend's terror was replaced by rage and he unleashed a scathing attack on his 'friend', which ended with, "You can't screw with people's lives like that - It's not f***ing funny!"

I couldn't have said it better myself.

Nobody wanted to get in the body bag after that. Suddenly, putting themselves in the hands of their friends - after their friends had had more than a few drinks - didn't seem so funny.

They didn't trust their friends with something as simple as unzipping a bag, and I can only hope they valued their lives as much when it came time to getting home.

One Second for Friends

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What would you do if your friend was lying on a cold steel table, in a body bag?

Would you watch as the bag was zipped closed?

Or would you take One Second to unzip them?

When it counts, will you take One Second to choose life for you and your friend?


Every time you get behind the wheel, you take people's lives in your hands.

Every time you turn the wheel to steer around a corner - you choose life.
Every time you break - for a red light, to adhere the speed limit, to safely take the bend - you choose life.
For every second you have your eyes on the road - you are choosing life.

Driving distracted

These things impede your ability to turn the wheel, to take the bend, to see the red light, to drive safely -

To choose life.


When it's your friend on the table,

Will you be sober enough to unzip the body bag?

One Second for Parents

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Can you answer these questions about your child?

What is their favourite:




Teddy or soft toy:

Item of clothing:

Don't read on until you have all 5...

Got them?


Congratulations - You have all the answers to planning your child's funeral.

It will take you an hour to decide on flowers in your child's favourite colour, and a day and a half to find a florist who can provide them for the service.

Their favourite story - the one you read to your child every night - you will read it to them, for the last time, at their funeral.
It will take you twice as long to get though, because the words will stick in your throat as you fight back the tears.

The song, which goes for 3 and a half minutes, will be played as your child's coffin is lowered into the ground.
You will never again be able to listen to that song all the way through without crying.
Your tears will run longer than 3 and a half minutes.

You will place the teddy that has slept next to your child every night for most of their lives beside them in their coffin.
With their eyes closed peacefully, their head resting on a pillow and their teddy right beside them, they look as though they could just be sleeping.
But they are never going to wake up.

The clothes your child will be buried in are familiar, yet they look somehow strange without life to fill them.
I wonder - did you dress your child for the last time, or was it too much for you to bare?


Which clothes.
Which teddy.
Which song.
Which story.
Which colour.

Are these the choices you want to make for your child?

Or would you rather take one second to think?
One second to drive safely?

One second for life.


Do you make every second count?
Really make it count?

Does it count for something good?

Mostly, but maybe not always, right?

What if your "one second" of bad,
Became the very last thing a husband ever said to his wife?

Are you willing to risk it?

Or will you take a second to prevent it?

Find out more