LANCASTER, N.Y., May 18, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Lancaster High School students today joined State Senator Patrick M. Gallivan (59th District) and AT&T to raise awareness about the risks of texting while driving by encouraging all wireless consumers, especially youth, that text messages can – and should – wait until after driving.
As part of AT&T's national "Texting & Driving…It Can Wait" campaign, Lancaster High School students were shown a powerful 10-minute documentary, "The Last Text", highlighting the devastating effects of texting and driving and were then given the opportunity to sign a commitment pledging to not text while driving.
"Distracted driving dramatically increases risk on our roadways, and in our age of quick information and instant accessibility, texting poses a real hazard for teenage as well as adult drivers," said Senator Gallivan. "I'm proud of each and every Lancaster High School student who signed the pledge today for taking their responsibility as drivers very seriously. They're leading by example and hopefully will encourage their peers, their neighbors and their family members to make the same wise choice by waiting to send that text message."
"We are grateful for the support and focus that Senator Gallivan and AT&T have brought to this very important issue of texting and driving," said Lancaster High School Principal Cesar Marchioli. "Nothing is more important than the safety and well being of our students and, given that the period between Memorial and Labor Days marks the 100 deadliest days for young drivers, today's program couldn't have come at a better time."
"When we're young, we think we'll live forever and that nothing bad can happen," stated Adam Milton, Lancaster High School Student Union President. "Unfortunately tragedy can strike in an instant. Let's do everything in our power to make our roads safer and make everyone aware that when they're behind the wheel, texting can wait.''
AT&T's national campaign film "The Last Text" features true stories about text messages that were sent or received before someone's life was altered, or even ended, because of texting and driving. By featuring the real stories, the campaign demonstrates how insignificant a text message is compared to the potentially dire consequences of reading or responding while driving.
"While we're happy to help our customers stay connected with their friends and family, we want to make sure they use their wireless devises safely and that means not texting while driving," stated Marissa Shorenstein, President of AT&T New York. "We commend Senator Gallivan and Lancaster High School for taking a leadership role in helping us to promote the message that no text message is so urgent that it is worth putting lives in danger to read or reply."
AT&T's national "It Can Wait" campaign launched in March 2010, and to date, more than 21,600 consumers have taken the pledge not to text and drive on AT&T's Facebook page, in addition to more than 16,700 AT&T employees through its internal social media channel. For more information on the "It Can Wait" campaign, visit the campaign's website.
Last July, New York State enacted one of the toughest new anti-distracted driving laws in the nation. The use of a handheld electronic device while operating a vehicle is now a primary offense in New York and a violation can cost ticketed drivers up to $150.
SOURCE AT&T Inc.