Lesley Cully

05 Mar 2013
By Ahlanlive.com

Founder of the UAE’s Buckle Up campaign

The campaign set up by this British mum-of-two to encourage everyone to use seat belts on our roads has gained so much momentum that she’s now spreading the word beyond Dubai.

How has your campaign evolved this past year?
When I started, I was focusing on Dubai – it even had Dubai in the title. I’ve officially dropped that and now I travel and spread the word to schools and corporations in Al Ain, Abu Dhabi, Ras Al Khaimah, Sharjah – anywhere I can get to! More companies are lending a hand to raise awareness too. Chevrolet supplies me with a beautiful Buckle Up car so I can be seen on the roads, Graco supplies the car stickers, Hertz gives me the leaflets and numerous companies help spread the message online – it’s become a community-run campaign.

How do you spread your message?
Primarily through a structured presentation that takes about 30 minutes. I visit loads of schools and corporations – I may have up to six back-to-back sessions at the same school. There are eggs involved – so it can be quite messy!

How did the campaign start?
As a Facebook rant! I saw too many children travelling in cars without proper restraint and was horrified. I knew I had to do something to educate both parents and children.

Do you believe you are making inroads into changing the attitude here in the UAE?
When a parent tells me how their child won’t let them start the car because the ‘Buckle Up lady’ told them they need a seat belt – that makes it all worthwhile. Ultimately, I’d like to see a law introduced to have ALL passengers in a car Buckled Up.

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