Legislator Troiano joins AT&T in the fight against texting while driving
Nassau County Legislator Robert Troiano joined AT&T in rolling out the company’s new “It Can Wait” pledge, an initiative against texting-while-driving. The first local pledge drive and informational seminar was held at Hempstead High School and attended by students who took the pledge not to text while driving.
The National Safety Council estimates that over 100,000 crashes a year involve drivers who are texting, and despite a near universal understanding that it is dangerous, a recent survey found that 43% of teens admit to texting while driving.
The number one cause of auto fatalities among teenagers is texting while driving. The National Traffic Safety Administration reports that sending or receiving a text message while driving takes the driver’s attention off the road for an average of 5 seconds, the equivalent, at 55 miles per hour, of driving the length of a football field while blindfolded.
But teens are not the only ones guilty of texting while driving, 77 percent of teens report having witnessed this dangerous texting habit from the same adults who tell teens not to use their mobile devices behind the wheel
The “It Can Wait” campaign seeks to curb that number in a variety of ways, including taking the pledge; an online simulator that demonstrates the dangers of texting behind the wheel; a new app for Android and BlackBerry smartphone users called AT&T DriveMode that sends a message telling anyone sending a text or email while you are driving that you are unable to reply until you have stopped; and a sobering 8-minute documentary on the dangers of texting while driving. All of these components of the campaign are available online at www.itcanwait.com.
Legislator Troiano thanked AT&T and the “It Can Wait” campaign for its efforts “to make texting and driving as unacceptable as drinking and driving.”
“We applaud Legislator Troiano’s efforts to join with AT&T to educate the public on this issue, especially as summer draws near which is an especially dangerous time for young drivers,” said Brandon Ray, regional director External Affairs, AT&T, Long Island. “The period between Memorial Day and Labor Day are the 100 deadliest for U.S. teen drivers. We urge teens and their parents to take the pledge to never text and drive again in their lifetime. No text is worth dying for,” added Ray.
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Legislator Robert Troiano with Tina Lake – the school district parent liaison, Brandon Ray – the AT&T regional director of external affairs, Gary Battle-photographer/coordinator from Hempstead High School, Erika Kolb – also from AT&T, along with students from who signed the pledge ‘ IT CAN WAIT’ promising not to text and drive.