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FINAL VA It Can Wait Governor Proclamation

FINAL VA It Can Wait Governor Proclamation

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Published by elyssarae

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Published by: elyssarae on Dec 19, 2012
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12/19/2012

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For more information, contact:
Gayle Kansagor On Behalf of AT&T202-295-8775Gayle.kansagor@harbourgrp.com Dan LanganOn Behalf of AT&T717-571-1743dl2380@att.com
GOVERNOR MCDONNELL PROCLAIMS SEPTEMBER 19
AS ‘NO TEXT ON BOARD PLEDGE DAY’ IN VIRGINIA
Proclamation part of nationwide campaign to stop texting while driving 
RICHMOND, VA (SEPTEMBER 19, 2012) --
 As part of a nationwide effort to remind drivers
 –
 especially youth
 –
about the dangers of texting while driving, Virginia Governor Robert F. McDonnellproclaimed
September 19, 2012, “No Text On Board Pledge Day” in the Commonwea
lth of Virginia.
It is important to recognize that in 2012
 –
so far 
 –
young adults ages 18 through 20 accountedfor 16% of crashes involving a texting driver in Virginia,
McDonnell said.
“A driver that sends a text
message not only jeopardizes his or her own safety, but also the safety of passengers, pedestrians andother drivers, and it is fitting to encourage our citizens
 –
especially our youth
 –
to recognize that
crashes caused by sending or reading a text message are preventable.”
 
“No Text On Board Pledge Day” is one part of AT&T’s nationwide“It Can Wait”
 initiative, a multi-year, multi-faceted effort to spread the word about how deadly a seemingly simple text message canbe. The telecommunications company is calling on all drivers to go towww.itcanwait.comto take theno-texting-and-driving pledge
 –
and then share their promise with others via Twitter (#itcanwait) andFacebook.
“We know that texting while driving is
far too common among our teens, even though they know
it’s dangerous,” said Vince Apruzzese, regional vice president for AT&T
-
Virginia. “That’s why we are
proud that Gov. McDonnell not only agreed to help spread the word about how deadly a simple text can
be, but also challenge all drivers, especially our youth, to take the pledge to never text and drive.”
Nationwide, more than 100,000 times each year, an automobile crashes and people are injuredor die because the driver was texting while driving, according to the National Safety Council.
1
Studies
 
 show teen drivers are particularly at risk. While 97% of teens say they know texting while driving is
dangerous, 75% say the practice is “common” among their friends, according to a recent AT&T survey
.
2
 The survey also found almost all teens (89%) expect a reply to a text or email within five minutes or less, and 77% of teens report seeing their parents text while driving.
Texting is so dangerous because it takes a driver’s eyes off the road for an ave
rage of 5
seconds. At 55 mph, that’s like driving the length of a football field completely blind. Those who send
text messages while driving are 23 times more likely to be in a crash. As part of this ongoing initiative, AT&T earlier this year teamed up with DRIVE SMART Virginiato host a series of events across the Commonwealth to remind young drivers about the dangers of texting while driving. Thousands of students statewide participated in events that allowed them to seethe consequences of texting
while driving and sign AT&T’s pledge not to text and drive.
 "We know that teens are among our most vulnerable drivers, and that extra measures must betaken to insure that they develop safe driving habits," said Janet Brooking, executive director of DRIVESMART Virginia. "Through our partnership with AT&T, thousands of Virginia teens participated in the"It Can Wait" campaign. We commend AT&T for their commitment to saving lives and making a
difference on the roadways of Virginia.”
 
 AT&T’s “It Can Wait” pub
lic awareness campaign is comprised of several key initiatives, including:
Encouraging its 240,000 employees to take the pledge and, in turn, urge all people to committhat they will never text and drive. On an average day, AT&T retail store and call center employees speak to customers more than 500,000 times.
Working with TV and music celebrities to deliver a strong no-texting-while-driving message viaTV ads, concerts, public appearances, Twitter and Facebook.
Launching an aggressive social media campaign with advertising on Facebook and Twitter toencourage Americans to take the pledge and to share their pledges with their friends via socialmedia.
Educating the public using TV ads on the dangers of texting while driving that will run duringhigh-profile events and teen-focused programs.
Working to provide a toolkit of no-texting-while-driving information to every high school in thecountry.
Challenging device makers and app developers to work with AT&T so that all devices include apre-loaded, no-text-and-drive technology solution as soon as possible.
Launching an online driving simulator atwww.itcanwait.comin the coming weeks
 –
so thatanyone with access to the Internet can experience the dangers of texting while driving.

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