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Mayor Schmitt Joins AT&T, State Patrol, AAA in Urging Green Bay Residents to Pledge Never to Text and Drive
Mayor Proclaims August 16 ‘Don’t Text & Drive Pledge Day’
Pre-Game Event Features AT&T Virtual Reality Driving Simulator That Highlights the Dangers of Texting and Driving
GREEN BAY, WI, Thursday, August 16, 2012 — Green Bay Mayor Jim. Schmitt today teamed up with AT&T, the Wisconsin State Patrol and AAA to highlight the dangers of texting and driving and urge Green Bay residents to take the pledge to never text and drive. The Mayor proclaimed today, August 16, as a “Don’t Text & Drive Pledge Day” throughout the City of Green Bay and urged all residents to join him in taking the pledge to never text behind the wheel. “Far too often, we hear the stories of lives forever changed because of someone’s decision to text and drive,” Mayor Schmitt said. “Not only is it against the law, but texting while driving is one of the most dangerous activities you can do behind the wheel. I urge all Green Bay residents to join me in taking the pledge to never text and drive and encourage their friends and family to do the same.”
At a pre-game event today at The Bar Holmgren Way, individuals were given the chance to experience firsthand the dangers of texting while driving through AT&T’s virtual reality driving simulator. Today’s event focused on a simple, powerful message of AT&T’s “It Can Wait” campaign: No text is worth dying over. Texting is so dangerous because it takes a driver’s eyes off the road for an average of 5 seconds. At 55 mph, that’s like driving the length of a football field completely blind. Those who do send text messages while driving are 23 times more likely to be in a crash.
Seeking to bring attention to a serious road safety problem, AT&T today urged all Americans to pledge to stop texting and driving, and to join with others on September 19 to make a lifelong commitment to never do so again.
AT&T, its employees and other supporters are calling on all drivers to go to www.itcanwait.com to take the notexting-and-driving pledge – and then share their promise with others via Twitter (#itcanwait) and Facebook. The pledge effort is part of the company’s public awareness campaign aimed directly at stopping the dangerous practice of texting while driving. AT&T will spend tens of millions of dollars on its “It Can Wait” campaign in 2012 and has made it an ongoing commitment in future years.
More than 100,000 times each year, an automobile crashes and people are injured or die because the driver was texting while driving, said AT&T Wisconsin State President Scott T. VanderSanden, citing a statistic from the National Safety Council.
“Too many lives have been forever changed because someone chose to text behind the wheel, and we want to spread the word about how deadly a simple text can be,” VanderSanden said. “We’re challenging all drivers to take the pledge to never text and drive and make it a lifelong commitment.”
A recent AT&T survey found 97% of teens say they know texting while driving is dangerous. The survey found: 75% of teens surveyed say texting while driving is “common” among their friends; 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.
But technology can help: 89% of teens said a phone app to prevent texting and driving – like AT&T DriveMode – would be an effective way to get them or their friends to stop texting and driving.
Wisconsin’s law, effective as of December 1, 2010, prohibits sending an e-mail or text message while driving and imposes a fine of up to $400. As a primary enforcement law, officers may stop and ticket drivers solely for texting and driving. Wisconsin is among 37 states and the District of Columbia that ban text messaging by all drivers.
“If you text while driving, your hands are not on the steering wheel, your eyes are not on the road, and your mental focus is not on the traffic and road conditions around you,” said Major Sandra Huxtable, Director of the Wisconsin State Patrol’s Bureau of Transportation Safety. “Without a doubt, texting while driving will increase your risk of causing a crash or failing to avoid one. We’re proud to partner with AT&T and AAA to educate drivers about the dangers of texting and driving.”
AT&T’s “It Can Wait” campaign first began in 2009. The effort is comprised of several key initiatives, including: Encouraging its 240,000 employees to take the pledge and urge all Americans to never text and drive. Bringing an in-car texting-while-driving simulator to more than 200 locations before the end of this year.
Launching an online driving simulator at www.itcanwait.com in the coming weeks, so anyone with access to the Internet can experience the dangers of texting while driving. Working to provide a toolkit of no-texting-while-driving information to every high school in the country. Educating the public using TV ads on the dangers of texting while driving that will run during high-profile events and teen-focused programs. Offering a free, enhanced AT&T DriveMode app for its Android and Blackberry users that automatically shuts of texting capabilities, and offers an auto-reply to incoming texts, when a car exceeds 25 mph. Launching an aggressive social media campaign with advertising on Facebook and Twitter to encourage Americans to take the pledge and share it with their friends and family via social media. Working with TV and music celebrities to deliver a strong no-texting-while-driving message via TV ads, concerts, public appearances, Twitter and Facebook. Challenging device makers and app developers to have all devices include a pre-loaded, no-text-anddrive technology solution as soon as possible.
For more information on AT&T’s “It Can Wait” campaign, please visit: www.att.com/textingcanwait. AAA has also launched a national initiative to ban texting while driving in every state by the year 2013 and has partnered with AT&T and the State Patrol to host events at high schools around Wisconsin to warn teen drivers of the deadly consequences of texting while driving. Through its driving simulator, AAA is teaching teens the devastating effects of texting while driving. “AAA has long been warning the public of the dangers of distracted driving,” said AAA Wisconsin Regional President Tom Frymark. “By partnering with educators, the State Patrol and AT&T, we hope to get the message across to even more Wisconsin drivers that texting and driving is a dangerous mix.”
*AT&T products and services are provided or offered by subsidiaries and affiliates of AT&T Inc. under the AT&T brand and not by AT&T Inc
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National Safety Council www.nsc.org Survey conducted by Beck Research on behalf of AT&T http://www.att.com/Common/about_us/txting_driving/att_teen_survey_executive.pdf. Data and text messaging charges may apply for download and app usage. Standard messaging rates apply to auto-reply messages. AT&T DriveMode is free to AT&T customers only. Compatible device required.
AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) is a premier communications holding company and one of the most honored companies in the world. Its subsidiaries and affiliates – AT&T operating companies – are the providers of AT&T services in the U.S. and around the world. With a powerful array of network resources that includes the nation’s fastest mobile broadband network, AT&T is a leading provider of wireless, Wi-Fi, high speed Internet, voice and cloud-based services. A leader in mobile broadband and emerging 4G capabilities, AT&T also offers the best wireless coverage worldwide of any U.S. carrier, offering the most wireless phones that work in the most countries. It also offers advanced TV services under the AT&T U-verse® and AT&T │DIRECTV brands. The company’s suite of IP-based business communications services is one of the most advanced in the world. Additional information about AT&T Inc. and the products and services provided by AT&T subsidiaries and affiliates is available at http://www.att.com. This AT&T news release and other announcements are available at http://www.att.com/newsroom and as part of an RSS feed at www.att.com/rss. Or follow our news on Twitter at @ATT. © 2012 AT&T Intellectual Property. All rights reserved. Mobile broadband not available in all areas. AT&T, the AT&T logo and all other marks contained herein are trademarks of AT&T Intellectual Property and/or AT&T affiliated companies. All other marks contained herein are the property of their respective owners.
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