For more information, contact:Sarah Briggs, Public Affairs Holly Hollingsworth, Media RelationsOffice: 614-223-7641 Office: 614-223-5711E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org E-mail: email@example.com AT&T CALLS ON NATION’S DRIVERS TO PLEDGE: NEVER TEXT AND DRIVE Americans Urged to Make Lifelong Commitment on Sept. 19COLUMBUS, Ohio, Aug. 15, 2012 — Wireless provider AT&T*, seeking to bring attention to aserious road-safety problem, today urged all Americans to pledge to stop texting while driving,and then to join with others Sept. 19 to make a lifelong commitment to never do so again.AT&T, its employees and other supporters are calling on all drivers to go to www.itcanwait.comto take the no-texting-and-driving pledge, and then share their promise with others via Twitter(#itcanwait) and Facebook. The pledge effort is part of the company’s public awarenesscampaign aimed directly at stopping the dangerous practice of texting while driving.More than 100,000 times each year, an automobile crashes and people are injured or die whilea driver was texting and driving, said Tom Pelto, President AT&T Ohio, citing a statistic from theNational Safety Council1.“Our goal is to save lives,” Pelto said. “AT&T applauds the efforts of the Ohio General Assembly– specifically Representatives Damschroder and Garland, as well as Governor Kasich – on theirefforts to pass and sign into law House Bill 99, the statewide texting while driving ban, which willtake effect on August 31st.“AT&T is challenging everyone to take the pledge to never text and drive and to make it alifelong commitment,” he said. “And we’re challenging all device makers and app developers tooffer devices that come pre-loaded with a no-text-and-drive technology solution.” (See video)AT&T’s “It Can Wait” public awareness campaign is focused on a simple, powerful message: Notext is worth dying for. AT&T plans to spend tens of millions of dollars on the campaign in 2012and has made it an ongoing commitment in future years. The effort is comprised of several keyinitiatives, 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.“Distracted driving is an epidemic on our roadways, and we need people all across Ohio to takeaction in their communities to help put a stop to it," said Colonel John Born, Ohio State HighwayPatrol superintendent.“Working with teens day-in and day-out, we see firsthand the impacts that peer pressure – andpeer influence – have on the decisions they make,” said Sandra Spavone, executive director ofthe National Organizations for Youth Safety (NOYS). “That’s what makes AT&T’s efforts soeffective. They understand that – by working with these teens and incorporating their feedbackprogrammatically – ultimately, we’ll reach even more of that critical and impressionableaudience with a message they’ll hear.”
Together with NOYS, AT&T has pioneered more than 12 teen-led, teen-focused educationalsummits, with plans to hold 10 or more locally by the end of the year. NOYS is a collaboration ofnational, youth-serving organizations, including non-profit organizations – such as StudentsAgainst Destructive Decisions (SADD) and Mothers Against Drunk Driving – and governmentagencies, such as the Governor’s Highway Safety Administration (GHSA). AT&T shares in theircommon goal of promoting safe and healthy behaviors among our nation’s youth.In addition, many other governmental, corporate, non-profit and other organizations havealready pledged support for the awareness campaign, including: The AFL-CIO’s Union Plusprogram, American Federation of Teachers, Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, Boys & GirlsClubs of America, CTIA, Junior Achievement, LULAC, National Safety Council, National UrbanLeague and RadioShack. More supporters can be found at www.itcanwait.A recent AT&T survey2 found that 97 percent of teens say they know that texting is dangerous.The survey also found: 75 percent of teens surveyed say that texting while driving is “common” among their friends; Almost all teens (89 percent) expect a reply to a text or email within five minutes or less; And 77 percent of teens report seeing their parents text while driving.But technology can help: 89 percent of teens said a phone app to prevent texting & driving – likeAT&T DriveModeTM 3 – would be an effective way to get them or their friends to stop texting anddriving.AT&T first began its “It Can Wait” campaign discouraging texting and driving in 2009. Thewebsite www.itcanwait.com provides an opportunity to take the don’t text and drive pledge. Italso offers a host of educational resources and information on the issue – including adocumentary featuring families impacted by texting and driving accidents that has been viewedmore than 3 million times.1 National Safety Council www.nsc.org2 Survey conducted by Beck Research on behalf of AT&Thttp://www.att.com/Common/about_us/txting_driving/att_teen_survey_executive.pdf.