In an effort to bring greater attention to the problem of texting and driving, AT&T has kicked off a campaign urging all Americans to pledge to stop texting while driving and to pledge to make it a lifelong commitment.
AT&T and its employees are calling on all drivers to go to http://www.itcanwait.com to take a no-texting-and-driving pledge, and then share their promise with others via Twitter (#itcanwait) and Facebook. The pledge effort is part of a public awareness campaign AT&T is underetaking to stop the dangerous practice of texting while driving.
Citing a statistic from the National Safety Council, AT&T President Rodney Smith, said 100,000 vehicle crashes occur annually as a result of texting and driving.
“Our goal is to save lives,” Smith said. “I hear from far too many people whose lives have been forever changed by a texting-while-driving accident, and together, we want to spread the word about how deadly a single text can be. Texting and driving should be as unacceptable as drinking and driving. We’re challenging everyone to take the pledge to never text and drive and to make it a lifelong commitment. And we’re challenging all device makers and app developers to offer devices that come pre-loaded with a no-text-and-drive technology solution.”
AT&T’s “It Can Wait” public awareness campaign is focused on a simple slogan: No text is worth dying for. AT&T plans to spend tens of millions of dollars on the campaign in 2012 and has made it an ongoing commitment in future years, Smith said. The effort 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.
- Bringing an in-car simulator to more than 200 locations before the end of this year.
- 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.