She may be an Orthodox Jew but a California mother of four has taken an unorthodox approach to stopping drivers from texting while they drive by encouraging drivers to turn their cars into mobile billboards bearing anti-texting messages.
Using a window marker, Margot Grabie wrote an anti-texting message on her rear windshield in May, hoping it would encourage drivers to put down their phones. She never expected that one message to take off the way that it did.
“People starting taking pictures of my car and friends started asking me to write on their back windows also,” said Grabie. “My kids wrote on the back of my father’s car and he knows that he can’t let them down.”
Grabie’s campaign began to mushroom and she began offering free window markers so that others could spread the anti-texting message as well. People have been sending her pictures of their own cars bearing anti-texting messages.
A resident of Hancock Park in Los Angeles, Grabie says she has been contacted by people in South Africa and Australia who have followed her lead and adorned their vehicles with anti-texting messages.
“There is something about a hand written message that captures the attention,” said Mrs. Grabie. “People are nosy and they want to read and see if maybe someone got married or something else. Sometimes when I drive I get honked. At first I thought, ‘What did I do wrong?’ but then drivers give me the thumbs up.”
Grabie has a free app called Drive Easy App, which has been under development since January and will be available shortly on both iPhone and Android. She hopes that drivers will activate the app before putting their keys in the ignition.
“When you touch your phone, a picture comes up with a pre-recorded message,” said Grabie. “People need a reason to stop texting and need to condition themselves to stop doing it. I am hoping that if someone sees a picture of their kids when they touch their phone, and hears their children saying ‘Mommy don’t text while you drive,’ it will tap into their emotional side and will stop them from texting.'”
Her website, DriveEasy.com, shares her anti-texting message and also offers free window markers to anyone who wants to participate in the campaign. She estimated that she has given out 250 markers so far.
“I just want to be able to say I made a difference,” said Grabie. “If I saved even one person then I met my goal.”