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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.

What is "One Second" all about?

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Who are you?

I am Alison - I am a mother to three beautiful girls, I am passionate about raising safe driving awareness and my husband was killed by a drink driver.
One Second the Story - tells of our last day together and the moments leading up to his death.

What do you do?

One Second Installations - are about presenting information and ideas in a way that engages participants. We want you to take a second to think a new thought, but we also want you to feel something memorable, so that when you are faced with your one second you will think and feel like a safe driver.
Installations are created according to the target audience and setting. Although they all have the same goal and work on similar principles, no two installations are exactly the same.

One Second the Blog - aims to facilitate discussion and help raise awareness of safe driving practices. Most importantly, it is about giving conscious thought to your defining seconds, and making them count.

Where is the next installation?

It could be at a pub, a club, a bar, the local markets, a school, a work place - anywhere there is a group of people and an opportunity for change. We don't give out dates and even the audience is not forewarned. The point of every event is to get people thinking and feeling, and we find expectations get in the way of this process.


If you have any questions or feedback, or would like to arrange a One Second Installation at your business or organisation, you can leave a comment here or email me at aplus3 at people dot net dot au

Pro Safe Driving

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This is not an anti drink driving blog,
And One Second is not an anti drink driving campaign.

"Anti" is negative.
It gives focus to the things we don't want.

"Pro" is positive.
It gives focus to the things we do want.

We don't want to focus on drink driving.
Because drink driving is what gets people killed.

We do want to focus on safe, sober driving.
Because safe driving is what keeps us alive.


We are pro safe driving.

What are you?

What do you really mean?

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One night, a man goes out for dinner (to a nice flashy restaurant), he has a few wines and insists he is fine to drive home.

He gets behind the wheel.

He takes a corner too fast and drives into another car.

The driver of the other car is killed.

When questioned the man says, "I only had a few drinks. I thought I would be OK to drive. I didn't mean to kill anyone."

One night, a man takes out his gun (a small revolver), he loads 4 bullets into random chambers and closes the cylinder.

He walks outside and points the gun at the first person he sees.

Then he pulls the trigger.

The gun goes off and the other person is killed.

When questioned, the man says, "There were only a few bullets loaded. I thought it would be OK. I didn't mean to kill anyone."

Whether you mean to, or not.
Whether you think it will be OK, or not.
Whether another person is killed, or not.
Choosing to drive drunk is no different to pointing a loaded gun at someone.

Nothing might happen.

Or you might kill someone.

Either way,
It's murder.

It only takes one second.

And it's your choice.

One Second

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"Hey Al?... Al?... Wake up - I have something to tell you... Wake up Al... It's important..."

M poked me in the ribs, gently, but with enough force to be bloody annoying. I grunted an acknowledgment, then attempted to go back to sleep.

"So Al... I wanted to wait until I was sure, because it's a pretty big deal.. You know, with the twins and everything. OK, see, the thing is... Al? Al? Would you wake up! I'm trying to tell you something and it's really important!"

That's the trouble with being married to an actor. They always have something really important to tell you.

"Al? OK, here goes.. Al, honey, you're pregnant."

Smart arse.

"You are, aren't you?!!"

I was. At least, I thought I was.
He stood up and started jumping up and down on the bed, just enough to disturb two sleeping babies.... And be bloody annoying...

"Wakey wakey kidlets! We're going on a road trip!"

That's another thing about actors - They can be very melodramatic. By "road trip" he meant, "10 minute drive to the chemist"...


"Excuse me please, can you help me find the biggest, fanciest, most positive pregnancy test you have?"

While he was speaking he was also holding our 10 month old twins upside down and pretending he didn't notice. Eventually he followed the Chemist's stunned gaze, looked down at the madly giggling (and slightly red faced) children, swore loudly and returned the girls to an upright position.

Did I mention that actors also like to shock people occasionally..? Their idea of fun, apparently.

Back at home, and two pink lines later, I decided to have a little fun of my own...

"M, darling, do you know what the odds are of having two sets of twins?"

He studied my face, long and hard, but I was giving nothing away. He answered, "About 1 in a billion for identical twins. Something like 1 in 80 for fraternal twins though."
Not that he'd researched it or anything.

"Gee, we really like to run against the odds, don't we?"

Honestly, that shade of pale does nothing for his eyes.
What was I saying? Oh yes...

"How do you feel about Morgan and Charli - As names, I mean?"

Ahh, that's the colour I was going for. Less puce, more off white.
But I couldn't keep it up. I cracked under the pressure and couldn't hide my grin quickly enough.
So busted.

But I do like those names...


For the rest of the morning I was ambushed every time I walked around a corner. M would come up behind me, put his arms around my middle and ask if he could "rub my belly for luck".

Smart arse.

He left for work after lunch... Then he came back 5 minutes later to rub my belly for luck. He hadn't even made it out of the drive way before he came back a second time.
When he eventually got to work, he called every half hour. He'd start the conversation with, "So... What are you wearing..." Then as soon as I said something he'd reply, "Oh! It's you! ... I mean, Oh! Hi honey! So, what are you, er, doing?"

Once he did the whole 'silence on the other end of the line' thing. I said, "I'm wearing your tracksuit pants with no underwear, and I need to pee. So if you want to see your pants alive again, talk fast."

The telemarketer never called back.

He'd been pestering us all day and I nearly didn't answer the phone when he called on his way home from work.
He asked me what I was wearing, then he said he had something for us to have a little baby celebration. He asked if I could get the girls out of bed.. "And maybe poke them a bit... So they'll be happy to see me when I get home."

I asked him what sort of things he had to celebrate, and if chocolate would be involved.

"One second..." he said.

He sounded distracted.

Worse - He sounded serious.

There was screeching
Then crunching
Crackling through the phone line
Then nothing.

Oh no.

I called back immediately.
Voice mail.

I got the girls out of bed, I poked them a bit as I put them in the car, then I drove.

The phone was probably just broken so he couldn't call me and tell me he was fine...
If there had been an accident he would probably need a lift home...
Oh well, I hope he still has the chocolate.

No sirens, no flashing lights.
That's a good sign.
Down the hill.
Around the corner.
Still no flashing lights.
Hmm, left or right?
He must have been shopping - shops are that way.
Down the road.
Around the bend.

Oh no.

Broken glass.
Crumpled metal.
Bits of M's car.

Oh no.

Now I hear sirens and see flashing lights.

The front half of M's car is sandwiched between another car and a tree.
It doesn't look good.

I am on my way over to him when someone comes towards me.
I don't care who it is
But then they are stopping me from getting to M and that makes me care.

I get angry and panic takes hold.

I need to see M.
I need to see him NOW.

I get around whoever is stopping me.

Then I see M.

I see his body
But he is not here any more
He is gone

M is dead.

Earlier that day, a man was having a few drinks at his brother's house after work.
As they drank, the brothers exchanged work highlights and low lights, they made a preliminary assessment of their little sister's new boyfriend, they joked about their wives and their horrible cooking, and in light of this last discussion, they decided on going a third round of 2 minute noodles before dinner.

Then it was time for the man to go home.

The distance was not walkable - but he could easily have ridden the bike that was sitting, unused, in the shed.
A taxi would not have cost too much, nor taken too long.
Buses ran every half hour - they stopped right outside his brother's door and would have dropped him 10 meters from his own.
His brother's wife would be home shortly and she could have given him a lift when she went to pick up take away.
He could have called his own wife and asked her to pick him up.

But all these options seemed like such a hassle.
It was only a few blocks...
And he knew the roads like the back of his hand.
There were never any cops around... No cop, no crime, right?
And besides - He could handle his alcohol.

So the man chose to drive.

He pulled out of his brother's driveway at 7:24pm.
"Damn!" - His favourite TV show started in just six minutes.
At 7:25pm - He glanced at the clock and sped up a little.
At 7:26pm - He sped up a little more.
At 7:27pm - He came to a straight stretch of road and sped up a LOT more.
At 7:28pm - He was one block from home, on a road that he knew like the back of his hand. If he put his foot down, he might just make it.

He probably would have made it, too.
Except that at 7:29pm - The man ran a stop sign.

He was traveling at almost 120km/hr when he drove straight into another car.

The driver of the other car, M, was killed instantly.

M did not get to see our twin daughters turn one.
He was not there for the birth of our youngest.
He will never be here for birthdays.
For Christmas.
To hear the "I love you"s.
See the smiles.
Give the cuddles.

He'll miss every moment.

Every smile
Every tear
Every word
Every whisper
Every breath

Every second.

M's family -
His mum, his dad, his brothers, his children, his friends -

They'll miss him

And ache for him

Every morning
Every night
Every day

Every second.

The man -
He was physically unharmed.

But he did miss his TV show.

No matter who you are
No matter how invincible you think you are
No matter how much you love your television

It is never OK to get behind the wheel drunk.
It is never OK to speed.

It is never OK
For anyone

Not even for one second.

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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