December 27, 2010

AT&T Joins Fight Against Texting While Driving

AT&T has distributed a new documentary to educators, government officials, safety organizations and the public which features families who were affected by people who text while driving.

The wireless provider announced Monday the release of a new documentary featuring stories from individuals whose lives have been altered due to texting while driving.

The 10-minute piece will be distributed nationwide to schools, safety organizations, government agencies and more as part of AT&T's "It Can Wait" campaign.

According to a statement by AT&T, "Each of the eight individuals included in the full-length reel volunteered their stories to help AT&T educate wireless customers "“ particularly youth "“ on the risks of tapping away on their cell phones in the car."

"Distracted driving is an epidemic, particularly among teens who are confident in their ability to text or talk while driving," U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said in a statement. "Of the 5,500 people killed last year due to distracted driving, the largest proportion of fatalities occurred among young people under the age of 20. I hope teens will take this powerful video to heart and realize that when you're behind the wheel, no text message or phone call is worth the risk."

"This documentary is a raw look at the reality and hazards of texting while driving, and we hope it will make wireless customers think twice before pulling out their cell phones in the driver's seat," Cathy Coughlin, senior executive vice president and global marketing officer for AT&T, said in a press release. "As a global telecommunications company, it is our responsibility to bring these risks to light, especially now during the holiday season and as we approach New Year's Eve."

The National Security Council, National Organizations for Youth Safety (NOYS), CTIA and Family, Career and Community Leaders of America all support the documentary.

Over 21,600 consumers have taken a pledge not to text and drive on AT&T's "It Can Wait" Facebook page since the campaign launched in March 2010. 

Since 2009, the company has revised its wireless and motor vehicle policies to more clearly and explicitly prohibit texting and driving.


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