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The Don’t Text and Drive Campaign

August 4, 2015 | by Emuna Braverman

One Jewish mom in LA is waging a campaign to stop people from texting while they drive. It’s catching on.

“Safety should be a priority for our children and our community and awareness is halfway towards finding a solution.”

This is the philosophy governing the actions of Margot Grabie, a young mother in Los Angeles, who has started a one-woman campaign against texting and driving. Always conscious of the issue, she was disturbed when she saw people around her driving haphazardly while distracted by their phones, and a terrible tragedy in Knoxville, Tennessee was the last straw.

A bus driver was texting and two students and a teacher’s aide ended up dead as a result. A self-described doer who is always working on a few projects at once, Margot was spurred to action. And her children – and the rest of us on the roads in Los Angeles – are the lucky beneficiaries.

Armed with just a window paint marker, Margot decide to write a note on the back windshield of her car. “Drive now, text later” or “Please don’t text and drive”. This has the double effect of making her a more cautious driver because her children – and everyone else! – are now watching and impacting those driving around her. It is simple and yet effective.

And the message is catching on. Margot can’t keep up with the emails, or the requests for markers. Many people want to get in on the action. We are all concerned about this inconsiderate and dangerous driving (I personally would like a megaphone so I could really vent my frustration on the thoughtless driver!). We all want to make sure the message gets out there. And Margot Grabie is being inundated.

She is doing her own fundraising just to be able to send out the markers. She is thankful for the support of her husband, Ezra, and the assistance of her kids who proudly brag about their mother and her actions and encourage their friends to get markers and write messages on their cars as well. The availability of these paint markers in all sorts of bright neon colors is a selling point for the younger set. “Mommy, mommy we want to write on our car also!” can be heard throughout the neighborhood.

But Margot isn’t done yet. She’s thinking big. She’s creating a mobile app that will automatically appear with a picture of our children begging us not to text and drive. That would seem hard to resist. And she is trying to contact difference businesses to see if they can strategize together how to spread the message. She would like to see the simple line “Please don’t text and drive” on the sleeves of the coffee cups at Starbucks. And she’d like an interview on the Ellen show.

As she points out (unnecessarily I might add), “It’s not about me; it’s about the message.” To that end, she also has an instagram account and is broadening her education in social media in order to expand the reach of her message.

She has even created a sign for the carpool line at her children’s school reminding parents that it is a cell phone-free zone. I could really empathize with that idea since many years ago when I was giving our flyers in carpool line, an impatient parent left the line and bumped me with her car in an effort to get to her kids first and avoid waiting. (Thankfully I was uninjured although that parent did not stop to find out!)

It’s possible that Margot Grabie is preaching to the choir, that those of us who respond to her action and seek out markers for ourselves are already the ones who don’t text and drive. But I think she is making a difference; seeing the sign right in front of you while you are driving gives you pause and makes a person think before texting.

I am inspired by Margot’s commitment and actions. She didn’t just complain about it; she took responsibility is doing something about it.

To support Margot Grabie’s efforts, please go to

For more information visit,

Watch this clip from CBS News:

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