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Gayle Kansagor On Behalf of AT&T 202-295-8775 Gayle.email@example.com Dan Langan On Behalf of AT&T 717-571-1743 firstname.lastname@example.org
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. McDonnell proclaimed September 19, 2012, “No Text On Board Pledge Day” in the Commonwealth of Virginia. “It is important to recognize that in 2012 – so far – young adults ages 18 through 20 accounted for 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 and other 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 multiyear, multi-faceted effort to spread the word about how deadly a seemingly simple text message can be. The telecommunications company is calling on all drivers to go to www.itcanwait.com to take the no-texting-and-driving pledge – and then share their promise with others via Twitter (#itcanwait) and Facebook. “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 injured or 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 average 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 Virginia to 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 see the 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 be taken to insure that they develop safe driving habits," said Janet Brooking, executive director of DRIVE SMART 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” public 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 commit that 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 via TV ads, concerts, public appearances, Twitter and Facebook. Launching an aggressive social media campaign with advertising on Facebook and Twitter to encourage Americans to take the pledge and to share their pledges with their friends via social media. Educating the public using TV ads on the dangers of texting while driving that will run during high-profile events and teen-focused programs. Working to provide a toolkit of no-texting-while-driving information to every high school in the country. Challenging device makers and app developers to work with AT&T so that all devices include a pre-loaded, no-text-and-drive technology solution as soon as possible. Launching an online driving simulator at www.itcanwait.com in the coming weeks – so that anyone with access to the Internet can experience the dangers of texting while driving.
Enlisting others – including law enforcement, educators, national retailers, consumer safety groups, legislators and the entire wireless industry – to join the no-text-and-drive movement. Asking more than 1,000 of AT&T’s strategic and other major suppliers to encourage their employees to pledge not to text and drive. AT&T began its “It Can Wait” campaign discouraging texting and driving in 2009. The website
www.itcanwait.com provides an opportunity to take the don’t text and drive pledge. It also offers a host of educational resources and information on the issue – including a documentary featuring families impacted by texting and driving accidents that has been viewed more than 3 million times.
Web Site Links: AT&T News AT&T It Can Wait AT&T Facebook Related Media Kits: Dangers of Text Messaging and Driving
AT&T Puede Esperar
Related Releases: Parents Can Rule, Kids Can be Cruel, New Mobile Phone Study Reveals 43% of Teens Say they Text & Drive; 77% Say Adults Warn Against Risks; but Text & Drive 'All the Time' Related Fact Sheets: AT&T Teen Driver Survey - Executive Summary AT&T Teen Driver Survey - Minority Findings Infographic: The Dangers of Texting While Driving Fact Sheet: AT&T's "It Can Wait" Campaign Video: Texting While Driving Simulator Video: AT&T Don't Text While Driving Documentary
*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
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.
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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