By Kayleigh Gray, Research Associate
In 2008 the Winnipeg Police Service embarked on a public education program specific to reducing speed. Each year they develop a new public service announcement demonstrating the consequences of driving beyond the speed limit. This past year the concept was a direct comparison of the results of a collision at two different speeds. A Monsanto employee participated in this program. This is her story.
Today I am not only a research associate in canola trait integration, but I am also the safety technician for Monsanto’s trait integration facility in Winnipeg, Manitoba. It’s not a second job, nor does it fall under “other duties as assigned.” It is my passion, and I am thrilled to work in an environment where living safely is ingrained in our culture.
At my workplace, we take pride in our five-minute safety talks, where we share experiences and speak about safety three times a week. We look out for one another, we love coming to work, and everyone on-site owns a safety program and is actively involved.
The people who can’t be with us every day, but for whom we must be safe – our families – are represented on the “safety wall” of photographs as a constant reminder.
It is this heightened awareness of safety in all aspects of life and a little bit of serendipity that sent me on a journey I never expected. In August 2014, my mother-in-law offered an awesome opportunity to participate in the production of a television commercial focused on driving the speed limit for the City of Winnipeg Police. The request also included my youngest children, Lillian, 4, and Darrin, 1.
The commercial* demonstrates the difference between a collision at 50 kilometers per hour versus 70 km/h, and the consequences of vehicle impact at higher speeds. We are the mother and children in the accident. We are the family shaken but uninjured after a collision at 50 km/h. We are also the family forever changed after the collision at 70.
The message of the commercial is not lost on me, and I think it hits home for many others. Most people have either been in a car accident themselves or know someone who has. For me, putting my children through this experience and watching them over and over in a horrific car crash – albeit a fake one – has been very emotional.
However, if our involvement in spreading the message that driving the speed limit can save lives makes even one driver think twice about their speed, it makes our part in it worth every second. Safety is one of those things where every individual action counts.
That’s why I chose to participate in the Just Slow Down project, and it’s why I choose to live and work safely every day.
*Disclaimer: Be advised that this commercial depicts a simulated car crash with injuries.