Rutgers University Students Learn About Dangers of Texting and Driving, Take Pledge Not to Text

Sep 26, 2011, 15:14 ET from AT&T Inc.

NEWARK, N.J., Sept. 26, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Rutgers University students today joined AT&T* in a program to raise awareness about the risks of texting while driving by encouraging all wireless consumers, especially young drivers, that text messages can – and should – wait until after driving.

As part of AT&T's national "Txtng & Drivng...It Can Wait" campaign, Rutgers students attended a presentation that included a 10-minute documentary "The Last Text" – which features real stories of individuals whose lives have been drastically altered by texting and driving. It has garnered nearly 2.5 million views on YouTube, and has been screened in thousands of schools and drivers' education classes, and among state police agencies, public health organizations, military personnel, government and safety organizations, and many more.

"As part of the community in New Jersey, AT&T is striving to educate and equip wireless customers with the tools they need to stay safe on the road," said Charlene Brown, regional vice president, external affairs, AT&T, New Jersey. "We're hoping to reach new and experienced drivers alike to generate a change in behavior and underscore our message about using wireless devices safely while driving."

"We are very thankful that AT&T was able to bring this important message to the students of Rutgers," said Laura Rosario, Rutgers University student and organizer of the campus activities. "As a school, we want to support the laws in New Jersey around cell phone use and driving to further ensure the safety of our fellow students and we want to educate as many people as possible about the dangers of texting while driving."

AT&T's presentation kicks off a week of planned campus activities to educate students, faculty and visitors that will conclude with a candlelight vigil for those who have lost their lives as a result of texting while driving.

As part of its national "It Can Wait" program, AT&T recently launched the AT&T DriveMode mobile application (www.att.com/drivemode), which, when downloaded and activated, automatically sends a customizable reply to incoming texts – notifying the sender that the user is driving and unable to respond. The auto-response is similar to an "out-of-office" email alert. By downloading the app, customers are also automatically taking AT&T's "Txtng & Drivng...It Can Wait" pledge, joining more than 63,000 others who have made the commitment to not text while driving. The app is available for free through the AT&T AppCenter and BlackBerry App World™ stores, with more supporting operating systems planned in the coming months.**

In May, AT&T announced a four-year series of contributions totaling $1 million to continue its education on the importance of not texting behind the wheel. The National Organizations for Youth Safety (NOYS) – a collaborative network of national associations and federal agencies that focus on youth safety and health –  was the first recipient of a $95,000 contribution.

Since launching the "It Can Wait" campaign, AT&T has revised its wireless and motor vehicle policies to prohibit texting and driving; incorporated a don't-text-and-drive message on the protective clings for devices sold in AT&T retail stores; integrated campaign messaging in AT&T catalogs, signage, bills, emails and newsletters and at AT&T-sponsored events; designed a pledge for its Facebook and employee pages; and more.

For more information on AT&T's "Txtng & Drivng...It Can Wait" campaign, please visit: www.att.com/txtingcanwait.

*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.

** Data and text messaging charges may apply for download and app usage. Standard messaging rates apply to auto-reply messages. AT&T DriveMode is free to AT&T customers only. Compatible device required.

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SOURCE AT&T Inc.



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