Judy Lindsay travels to educate people on the dangers of driving drunk or distracted.
Judy Lindsay travels to educate people on the dangers of driving drunk or distracted.

Crash victim's mum begs drivers to think before drinking

NO PARENT should ever have to receive the call Judy Lindsay received one devastating night in 2009, when a stranger informed her that her only child had been killed by a drunk driver.

10 years ago Ms Lindsay's daughter Hayley went to a friend's house for a few drinks and had organised a lift home to be safe.

But she never made it home.

Just a kilometre down the road from Hayley's friend's house, the vehicle she was in was struck by another car, driven by an intoxicated driver.

"I received a phone call on the Saturday night and a lady said to me, she said 'hello, is this Judy?'," Ms Lindsay told News.

"I said 'yes it is', and she said 'Judy, Hayley's mum?'."

It was in this conversation Judy found out about her daughter's accident and that her only child had not been able to be revived.

Ms Lindsay described the numbing experience of being told her only child had been killed by no fault of her own.

"I didn't know where to go or what to do after it had happened," Ms Lindsay said.

"I was introduced to CARS by a police officer and that was part of my journey with cars."

It takes a certain strength to be able to talk about personal tragedy, and it takes even more strength to be able to use that story to help others.

Ms Lindsay has been baring her loss to strangers for years in an effort to get across a simple message: don't drink and drive.

Citizens Against Road Slaughter (CARS) has been operating since 1984 and Ms Lindsay is now one of the ambassadors who speak with people about the dangers of driving while distracted and intoxicated.

Being a country girl herself and spending all her life with horses and in the campdrafting scene, Ms Lindsay often visits rural events, including the recent Dalby Stock Horse Sale, to speak with people about the dangers of dink driving or driving distracted.

A large part of Ms Lindsay's mission now is to reintroduce driver attitudinal programs.

"With the (program), what was happening was if you were charged with a driving offence in a magistrates court, in a particular Brisbane Magistrates Court … you would be asked to go to these driver programs," she said.

"It was an information night, someone like me would stand up and speak, then you would have all your emergency services and it was just a big reality check."

It wasn't only people charged with driving offences that would come to these nights.

Ms Lindsay said people were bringing their children who were about to get their driver's license.

Ms Lindsay wants to see programs like these spread across the country.

"We've got to save lives," she said.

"People, our kids, don't seem to understand the reality of how dangerous it is, texting while they're driving … having a drink, taking drugs … you can't do that.

"And the reality of it is, if I tell my story and what happened to Hayley, we can save lives."

If you would like to support Ms Lindsay and CARS to continue educating people or if you would like Ms Lindsay to speak at your event, visit the website cars.asn.au or Ms Lindsay's website judylindsay.net.



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