AT&T, school, elected officials, law enforcement and concerned citizens say no to texting and driving
Story by joycelyne fadojutimi
Fatalities while texting and driving is becoming a serious problem. No-one has to die or injure other road users because they are texting and driving consequently, AT&T has launched ‘It Can Wait’ campaign.
AT&T’s ‘It Can Wait’ campaign focuses on educating the public on
the dangers of texting and driving while reminding all wireless consumers, especially youth, that text messages can and should wait until after driving. Another goal of the campaign is for others to make a lifelong commitment to never text and drive.
During a press conference held in the foyer of Mickey Melton Performing Arts Center atLongviewHigh School, Longview ISD superintendent Dr. James Wilcox said, “There is nothing more precious than the kids. No message is that important to text and drive at the same time.”
According to Wilcox, teens think they are invisible and will be here for eternity. “We want them not to text as they drive and we are joining forces with AT&T to send this message to our precious students.”
LISD assistant superintendent for community relations, Ms. Andrea Mayo echoed the same sentiments. “We are delighted to host this press conference. We value every life.”
Longview Mayor Jay Dean besides issuing a proclamation cited adults as the other culprits in texting and driving. “Our kids are not the only ones who are guilty, we are all guilty so let all of us stop texting while driving.”
Dean reminded the audience that one little second of inattention on the road is recipe for accidents. In addition, texting while driving is hazardous for public safety.
Moreover, James Skeeler, assistant superintendent of Pine Tree ISD said his district will incorporate AT&T’s “It Can Wait” campaign into their curriculum. “Students are our number one priority,” Skeeler said. “Pine Tree ISD commends AT&T and the city ofLongviewfor bringing this awareness to our young people.”
Wes Jones, Spring Hill ISD superintendent could not agree more. “We applaud AT&T and the City ofLongviewfor this campaign,” he said. “As a former driver’s education instructor, texting and driving is a scary thought. This campaign is very much needed for our students.”
To boot, Dr. Dale Lunsford, president ofLetourneauUniversitysaid it is good to remind university students as well of the dangers of texting while driving. Students tend to think they are talented and multitasking but no-one is that talented. “Students must think twice before texting while driving.”
Kasha Williams, City Councilwoman District 3 said, “We are delighted to participate in this nation-wide campaign.”
To boot, Candice Gast AT&T external affairs director for northeastTexassaid, “I am so overwhelmed with the incredible support. It is wonderful that you want to make your community safe with the AT&T “It Can Wait” campaign.”
As indicated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI) estimate that nearly eighty percent of crashes and 65 percent of near crashes involve some form of driver inattention.
- NHTSA and VTTI estimate that driver distraction is a factor in approximately 4.78 million crashes, resulting in two million injuries, more than 34,000 fatalities, and as much as $184 billion in economic damages annually.
- VTTI found that truck drivers face a crash risk or near crash risk 23 times greater when texting than when not texting.
- The American Media Association called text messaging while driving “a public health risk,” citing a study that found text messaging while driving causes a 400 percent increase in time spent with eyes off the road.
- 100,000 –U.S.automobile crashes annually
- Texting drivers are 23 more times likely to be involved in a crash
- Ninety seven percent of surveyed teens say they know texting and driving is dangerous
- Forty three percent of surveyed teens admit to texting and driving
- Seventy five percent of teens say texting and driving is common among their friends
For more information visit: http://www.att.com/Common/about_us