For more information, contact: Jim Greer, AT&T Wisconsin 608-252-2846 (office) 414-520-6398


Algoma Students Learn About Dangers of Texting & Driving, Urged to Pledge Never to Text Behind the Wheel
AAA Distracted Driving Simulator Shows Students Dangers of Texting Behind the Wheel
ALGOMA, WI, Friday, May 10, 2013 — More than 250 7 -12 graders at Algoma High School learned about the dangers of texting and driving and were urged to sign a pledge to never text behind the wheel during an event at the school today. Algoma High School teamed up with AT&T, the Wisconsin State Patrol and State Rep. Garey Bies in a public awareness campaign to urge the school’s students that text messages can – and should – wait until after driving. “Our young people too often think they are invincible, but they need to know that texting while driving is very dangerous and can be deadly,” said Algoma High School Principal Nicholas Cochart. “Teens are particularly at risk as both prolific texters and inexperienced drivers. We are proud to join in this effort to spread the word about the dangers and urge all of our students to take the pledge to never text and drive.” Today’s assembly was part of a series of high school events being held around the state by AT& T, AAA and the Wisconsin State Patrol to drive home the dangers of texting behind the wheel. Students were given the chance to experience firsthand the dangers of texting while driving in a safe setting through AAA’s distracted driving simulator. They were also shown a powerful AT&T documentary called “The Last Text” that shares real stories about lives altered or ended by someone’s decision to text and drive. Students were also urged to visit to take the no-texting-and-driving pledge, and then share their promise with others via Twitter (#itcanwait) and Facebook. More than 1.2 million people across the country have already taken the pledge to never text and drive. The pledge effort is part of AT&T’s national public awareness campaign aimed directly at stopping the dangerous practice of texting while driving. “Far too many lives have been forever changed because someone decided to text behind the wheel, and we want to spread the word about how deadly a simple text can be,” said Julie Tonkovitz, Director of External Affairs for AT&T Wisconsin. “We’re challenging all drivers, especially our teens, to take the pledge to never text and drive and make it a lifelong commitment.” Wisconsin marked the second anniversary of its no-texting-while-driving ban on December 1, 2012. The law 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 39 states that ban text messaging by all drivers.
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“Studies show that drivers who send text messages behind the wheel are 23 times more likely to be in a crash, there is no doubt that texting and driving is very dangerous. ” said State Rep. Garey Bies. “While Wisconsin has a ban against texting and driving, we must continue to educate our drivers, especially our teens, of the deadly consequences of this dangerous practice.” Texting and driving is involved in more than 100,000 vehicle crashes each year, often causing injuries and 1. deaths Studies show teen drivers are particularly at risk. While 97% of teens say they know texting while driving 2 is dangerous, 75% say the practice is “common” among their friends, according to an AT&T survey . In 2012, 165 organizations joined AT&T in helping spread the message and encourage people to make a pledge to never text and drive. This year, AT&T is working to expand the campaign even further, including:   Working with device makers to pre-load no-texting-while-driving technologies and solutions into handsets, with the goal of making these solutions standard on all AT&T smartphones; and Launching a year-round no-texting-while-driving simulator tour targeting more than 380 events nationwide

In addition to Algoma High School, Wisconsin assemblies have already been held this school year at Brookwood High School in Ontario, East Junior High in Wisconsin Rapids, Middleton High School, Denmark High School, Three Lakes High School, Stevens Point Pacelli High School, St. Francis High School, Brookfield Central High School, Burlington High School, Edgar High School, La Crosse Logan High School and Washington Park High School in Racine. Additional events are being planned later this year in other communities across Wisconsin. For more information on AT&T’s “It Can Wait” campaign, please visit:
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National Safety Council Survey conducted by Beck Research on behalf of AT&T

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