For more information, contact:
Sarah Briggs, Public Affairs
ParmaElected Officials UrgeNormandyHigh School Students to Take the
Pledge to Never Text and Drive at www.ItCanWait.com
Assembly Part of Series of Events Hosted by AT&T
PARMA,Ohio (Jan. 31, 2014) —Parma Mayor Tim DeGeeter and State Representative Nick
Celebrezzeteamed up today with the Ohio State Highway Patrol and AT&T to highlight the dangers of
texting and driving and to urge some 600 students from Normandy High School to pledge they will
never text and drive. The students also had the chance to watch the powerful AT&T documentary “The
Last Text” that shares real stories about lives altered or ended by the decision to text and drive.
"Texting while drivingclaims too many lives, and raising awareness of this completely preventable
tragedy is key to saving them,” said Parma Mayor Tim DeGeeter. “We’ve seen success before through
seatbelt and drunk driving campaigns, and I applaud the It Can Wait campaign for its efforts to raise
awareness. Most importantly, I encourage all residents of Parma to make a commitment not to text
AT&T first launched the It Can Wait®campaign in 2009 to educate the public about the dangers of
texting while driving and encourage consumers to take the pledge to never text and drive at
"I would like to personally thank AT&T for hosting this important and informative event,” said State
Representative Nick Celebrezze. “The statistics on the dangers of texting while driving are
overwhelming regardless of the experience level of the driver. No matter the issue texting can wait!"
The It Can Wait®movement is making a difference. One in three people who have seen the texting
while driving message say they’ve changed their driving habits, and the campaign has inspired more
than 4 million pledges to never text and drive. The recently launched “From One Second to the
Next”documentary has also received more than 2 million views since its Hollywood premiere last
“In today’s world of instant communication, we know how tempting it is for our teen drivers to text
behind the wheel,” said Debora Vanek, principal of Normandy High School. “But our students need to
know that not only is texting and driving against the law, it is very dangerous and can be deadly.”
Texting while driving causes more than 100,000 car crashes on American roadways each year,
according to the National Safety Council1. The Virginia Tech Transportation Institute has found that
drivers who send text messages while driving are much more likely to be in a crash.
“Distracted driving is an epidemic on our roadways, and we need people all across Ohio to take action
in their communities to help put a stop to it," said Ohio Department of Public Safety Director John Born.
Teens are particularly at risk. While 97% of teens say they know texting while driving is dangerous,
75% say the practice is still “common” among their friends, according to an AT&T survey2.
In Ohio, it is illegal for drivers under age 18 to write, send, or read text-based messages or even talk on
the phone while driving due to a texting ban which took effect in March of 2013. The penalty is a $150
fine and a 60-day license suspension, and repeat offenders could face a $300 fine and a 1-year license
suspension. For adults the texting ban is a secondary offense. Ohio is among 41 states that ban text
messaging by all drivers.
“Studies show teens continue to text and drive, even though they know it’s dangerous and against the
law,” said Kevin Lynch, External Affairs Director, AT&T. “We’re challenging all drivers, especially our
teens, to take the pledge to never text and drive and make it a lifelong commitment.”
For more information on the It Can Wait® campaign, please visit:ItCanWait.com.
*AT&T products and services are provided or offered by subsidiaries and affiliates of AT&T Inc. under the AT&T brand and not by AT&T Inc