Americans asked to 'take the pledge' that 'it can wait'
Texas based AT&T, which is the country’s largest wireless service provider, is also becoming the first major company to launch a nationwide campaign to convince people not to use it’s services...at least not while they’re driving.
1200 WOAI news reports that AT&T is launching ‘It Can Wait,’ and will encourage all of its 230,000 employees, and supplier and contractor employees, to ‘take the pledge’ never to text, deal with e-mail, or update Facebook statuses while driving.
“77% of teens have seen their parents text and drive,” AT&T San Antonio spokeswoman Lisa Marie Gomez told 1200 WOAI news. “What kind of an example is that?”
Gomez says that in addition to encouraging employees and contractors to pledge never to engage in distracting activities with their wireless devices while driving, the company will stress “It Can Wait” in the estimated 500,000 interactions it has with customers daily through its stores, and its broadband and U-verse operations.’
The effort goes straight to the top. CEO Randall Stephenson was the first to take the pledge.
“Our goal is to save lives,” Stephenson said. “I hear from far too many people whose lives have been forever changed by a texting-while-driving accident, and together we want to spread the word about how deadly a single text can be.”
Gomez agrees with her boss, pointing out that distracted driving is blamed for 100,000 accidents per year.
“While you are texting and driving, imagine the other person who is approaching you,” she said. “That driver may also be texting and driving.”
AT&T plans a massive campaign through traditional media as well as social media, and spots on major sporting events in the coming months, to promote the “It Can Wait” campaign. It will culminate with an ‘It Can Wait” event September 19th, in which all Americans will be encouraged to take the pledge never to text, deal with e-mail or update Facebook statuses while driving.
Gomez says the campaign’s name is important, because in the instant communication society we live in, we get the impression that an instant response to all communications is critical, when, in fact, it isn’t
“Sending back that little smiley face or LOL, or ‘I’m on my way,’ all of that can wait,” she said. “It’s just not important.”