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AT&T Partners with Assemblyman Ray Walter to Present “It Can Wait” Program | Community Spirit

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AT&T Partners with Assemblyman Ray Walter to Present “It Can Wait” Program
AT&T Partners with Assemblyman Ray Walter to Present “It Can Wait” Program

 

Texting while driving is a growing epidemic that puts all drivers at risk. That is why AT&T teamed up with Assemblyman Raymond Walter, Town of Amherst Department of Emergency Services and Safety and The Resource Training Center’s Alive@25 program to bring this message to young, local at-risk drivers as part of its national “It Can Wait” education program aimed at curbing this dangerous distraction and safeguarding the roads.

To reinforce the dangers of texting while driving, the young, at-risk drivers also heard from 15 year old Shaye Cline, who lost her brother in a texting and driving accident, on how this horrific tragedy has impacted her family and why she and her mother Kelly Cline are dedicated to sharing their story in hopes it will prevent other tragic accidents

AT&T visited the Alive@25 class on Monday, October 6 to present a special anti-texting while driving program and presented an emotional documentary, “The Last Text”, which recounts stories of families and students who have lost loved ones or been involved in accidents as a result of texting while driving. The young drivers in attendance also heard from Assemblyman Walter, Amherst Town Judge Geoffrey Klein and James J. Zymanek, director, Town of Amherst Department of Emergency Services and Safety regarding firsthand accounts of texting and driving accidents resulting in serious injuries or fatalities in the region and laws pertaining to texting while driving.

Program attendees also were able to experience firsthand the dangers of texting while driving in a safe environment with the “It Can Wait” online simulator that comes with an interactive steering wheel and gas/brake pedals. The online simulator is also available free at www.itcanwaitsimulator.org.                                                     

To assist in Alive@25’s mission to educate at risk drivers the dangers of distracted driving, AT&T made a contribution of educational materials, multimedia tools and technology from its “It Can Wait” program to the organization for use in its classes, which provides instructions to more than 2,500 local young drivers each year.

Vehicle crashes are the #1 cause of death for people between the ages of 16 and 24, which is why the National Safety Council, a leader in driver improvement training for more than 40 years, developed the Alive @25 to specifically target drivers in this age group.  The training program teaches young drivers who demonstrate reckless driving behaviors to change how they approach driving and think more effectively when behind the wheel through a four-hour course available at The Resource Training Center.

Studies show that those who text while driving are much more likely to be in a crash and more than 200,000 car crashes and injuries happen while a driver was texting and driving. Research also finds that sending or looking at a tweet, Facebook post or email from behind the wheel is just as deadly.

AT&T is calling on all drivers nationwide to go to www.itcanwait.com to take the no-texting-and-driving pledge, and then share their pledge with others via Twitter (#itcanwait) and Facebook. More than five million have taken the pledge since the program started nearly five years ago. AT&T recently introduced a social tool, “#X”, that fits naturally into conversations to let your followers know “I’m checking out while I drive. Back soon.”

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