A DEVASTATED Mossley mother has launched a national road safety campaign after her teenage son was struck by a lorry and killed.
Jack Taran Essex was 18 when he died in hospital from head injuries a day after he was hit by the 7.5 tonne truck in Portland Street, Manchester, in January 2015.
Evidence at his inquest pointed to the former Saddleworth School pupil wearing headphones at the time as he crossed the street on his way to college.
Now, his mum Dona Unsworth and stepdad Graham have launched a ‘Stop-Pause-Look-Listen’ road safety campaign to help prevent the same thing happening to others.
The campaign aims to highlight the dangers of using headphones, mobile phones and tablets around roads — not just by pedestrians, but by drivers and cyclists too.
Dona said: “After losing Jack in such a senseless way, I needed to create something positive out of the nightmare we were in.
“The campaign isn’t out to spoil people’s enjoyment but to educate people in traffic awareness – and for this you need to use your eyes and ears.
“It only takes a second of distraction from a text message, loud music or checking Facebook and the consequences can last a lifetime.”
Dona has designed artwork and merchandise including ‘Jack says: Stop, Pause, Look, Listen’ posters, banners, and car bumper stickers for the campaign.
And Graham has set up a website, which includes a road safety video made by media students from Salford University.
The pair have been visiting local schools to spread the important message, are speaking at The Road Safety Convention in June and have had interest from around the world.
“We want this campaign to eventually be as well-known as the Green Cross Code,” said Dona. “This has taken far too long to be updated and shouldn’t have been down to us.
“We are delighted we have got the news as far afield as Australia, Spain, Italy, Chanel Islands, America to name just a few.
“What we do desperately need is someone to handle merchandise as we neither have the funds or logistics for this.
“We are also in the process of having a charity formed in Jack’s memory, which we hope proceeds can be channelled into.
“It’s to be called The Jack Taran Foundation which will be for parents of sudden loss of a child to help with emotional and financial help.
“As we found to our distress there isn’t anything once a child is over 18. At the end of the day our children will always be our children, immaterial of age.
“We are hoping this will save hundreds of lives. Many people think they are invincible – but losing Jack has proven that we’re not.”
Find out more about the campaign or get involved by contacting Dona and Graham through the website: www.stoppauselooklisten.com