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SOURCE AT&T Inc.
Students at Scranton HS learn about the consequences of texting while driving, "drive" texting-while-driving simulator
Multiple activities taking place across Commonwealth
SCRANTON, Pa., Sept. 19, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- In a gymnasium packed with high school seniors, Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane today reminded all drivers – especially younger ones – that texting while driving not only is against the law in Pennsylvania, it can be deadly.
The state's top law enforcement officer joined students and educators from Scranton High School, community leaders, and officials from AT&T, to drive home the message that texting can wait.
As part of the event, students were able to "drive" a specially outfitted texting-while-driving simulator in an actual vehicle, exposing them to the dangers of texting while driving. Through a head-mounted display, students were able to experience real-life driving scenarios, including pedestrians crossing the street, red lights, and cars changing lanes on the road. At the conclusion of each simulation, drivers were able to view a scorecard showing their performance, further emphasizing the dangers of texting and driving.
"Today our message to the students is that it doesn't matter whether it's a text from their best friend, their mom, or anyone else - there is never a reason to choose texting over driving," said Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane. "It can always wait."
J. Michael Schweder, president, AT&T Mid Atlantic, said today's signature event with Attorney General Kane is part of a nationwide effort, spearheaded by AT&T and three other national wireless service providers, to urge people to share their commitment to never text and drive with others on Drive 4 Pledges Day.
"We all know how deadly texting while driving can be, which is precisely why we launched this campaign in 2009," said J. Michael Schweder, president, AT&T Mid Atlantic. "Too many lives have been lost because of this practice, and we're honored to join Attorney General Kane to spread the word here in Scranton and across Pennsylvania."
Drive 4 Pledges Day
Across Pennsylvania, other Drive 4 Pledges Day activities included:
Schweder encouraged all Pennsylvanians to join the movement, and outlined ways they can get involved in their schools and communities.
Individuals can sign up at www.ItCanWait.com to get resources that will help them share their commitment on social media and personalize the movement in their communities. Aspiring to create a social stigma around this dangerous habit of texting while driving, Drive 4 Pledges Day focuses on getting individuals involved in taking the pledge to never text and drive while encouraging others in their communities to do the same.
Supporters are encouraged to help spread the word to their families, friends and communities in a variety of ways: they can change their social profile photos and banner to It Can Wait graphics, and share their personal pledge stories using the hashtag #ItCanWait. Individuals and organizations can host pledge drives and distribute posters in their schools, workplaces and neighborhoods. All materials, such as social graphics and posters, are available for download from www.ItCanWait.com.
Today's event is among a variety of activities taking place coast-to-coast, including:
"Texting while driving claims too many lives, and raising awareness of this completely preventable tragedy is key to saving them," said U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx. "We've seen success before through our seatbelts and our drunk driving campaigns, and I both applaud the It Can Wait campaign for its efforts to raise awareness and encourage everyone to make a commitment on Drive 4 Pledges Day to drive focused and distraction-free."
In fact, a ConnectSafely.org1 survey found that individuals who speak up can have a profound impact, particularly on teens.
The It Can Wait movement is making a difference. One-in-three people who've seen the texting while driving message say they've changed their driving habits2, the campaign has inspired more than 2.5 million pledges never to text and drive and the recently launched "From One Second To The Next" documentary has received more than 2 million views since Aug. 8. To take the pledge and get more information, visit www.ItCanWait.com.
1 ConnectSafely.org survey sponsored by AT&T
2 AT&T Texting While Driving … It Can Wait Perceptions Study
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