The Hamblen County Commission and Morristown City Council are officially supporting the Sept. 19, 2013 Drive 4 Pledges Day in Hamblen County and encourage wireless users in the county and across Tennessee to take the It Can Wait Pledge to never text and drive.
“The message we want all drivers to hear is ‘No text is worth dying for,’” said County Mayor Bill Brittain. “With this resolution and other efforts, leaders across our county will be working to get wireless users to take the pledge to never text and drive on Sept. 19.”
The initiative is gaining support in Nashville as well.
“Wireless service is an indispensable part of all of our lives, but we all need to put down our phones when we are driving and focus on the road,” said State Sen. Steve Southerland. “I want to thank Mayor Brittain and Mayor Thomas for passing this resolution and ask that all Hamblen Countians take the pledge.”
Southerland’s colleague in Nashville, State Rep. Tilman Goins, agreed.
“Many of us know someone whose life has been affected by a texting while driving accident,” said Goins. “If you use a wireless device, you need to take the pledge never to text and drive and then ask your friends and family to do the same. Let’s make Sept. 19, 2013 the day when everyone in our county joins together to end texting while driving.”
AT&T is urging all Americans to pledge to stop texting and driving, and to join with others on Sept. 19 — “Drive 4 Pledges Day” – to make a lifelong commitment to never do so again. The company is calling on all drivers to go to www.ItCanWait.com to take the no-texting-and-driving pledge – and then share their promise with others via Twitter (#ItCanWait) and Facebook.
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 not text and drive at www.ItCanWait.com.
More than 2 million pledges have been made to never text and drive. The campaign has now turned into a national movement with support from Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile US, Inc. and more than 200 other organizations. The 2013 campaign drive will culminate on Sept. 19, when efforts turn towards encouraging everyone to get out in their community and advocate involvement on behalf of the movement.
In August, the It Can Wait movement released a new documentary directed by acclaimed filmmaker Werner Herzog called “From One Second to the Next” that shows the aftermath of texting and driving. The documentary is being distributed to nearly 40,000 high schools across the country, including in Tennessee, along with hundreds of government and safety organizations.
Texting is one of the most dangerous activities a driver can do behind the wheel. Those who send text messages while driving are 23 times more likely to be in a crash. Texting while driving also causes more than 100,000 car crashes on American roadways each year, according to the National Safety Council.
Teens are particularly at risk. While 97 percent of teens say they know texting while driving is dangerous, 75 percent say the practice is “common” among their friends, according to an AT&T survey.
“While teens are more at risk, no driver can safely text and drive,” said Morristown Mayor Danny Thomas. “All too often we hear of our law enforcement officials responding to an accident scene caused by texting and this has to end. Take the pledge to never text and drive on Sept. 19. Do it for yourself, your family and your community; we are all in this together.”
AT&T was greatful for the official support.
“I want to thank Mayor Brittain, Mayor Thomas, Sen. Southerland, Rep. Goins, and the many other leaders across Hamblen County who are leading the charge to end texting while driving,” said Alan Hill, regional director for AT&T Tennessee. “I encourage every wireless user to log onto itcanwait.com and take the pledge to never text and drive.
For more information on the It Can Wait campaign, please visit: ItCanWait.com.
- From Staff Reports