Mayor Allen Joines is partnering with AT&T to promote AT&T’s “It Can Wait” campaign that asks citizens to pledge to stop texting while driving.
Joines has issued a proclamation designating Sept. 19 as “No Text on Board Pledge Day” in Winston-Salem. AT&T is calling on Americans to make a lifelong commitment on Sept. 19 to never text and drive, and to share that commitment through Twitter, Facebook and other social networks.
The company offers its customers a free “Drive Mode” phone app that sends an automatic reply that the user is driving and cannot respond when texts, emails and phone calls are received.
“I applaud AT&T for taking the lead in doing something constructive to reduce the incidence of this dangerous practice,” Joines said. “Texting while driving not only endangers the lives of the driver and any passengers, but also those in other vehicles who are sharing the road with a texting driver.”
According to research by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, texting drivers are 23 times more likely to be in an accident. Texting drivers are involved in more than 100,000 automobile accidents a year, according to the National Safety Council. North Carolina prohibited texting and driving in 2009.
Cynthia Marshall, the president of AT&T North Carolina, said the “It Can Wait” campaign is intended to make all drivers, but especially teens, recognize that no text message is worth dying for. “We want texting and driving to be as socially unacceptable as drinking and driving,” she said, “and we are calling on others to join us in this effort.”
To support the campaign, WSTV 13, the city TV station, will run public service announcements and a 10-minute documentary produced by AT&T to promote its “It Can Wait” campaign. The videos can be seen at www.itcanwait.com.