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Residents Gather to Take Pledge, Remind Friends and Family No Text is Worth Dying
OAKLAND, Calif., Sept. 19, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Oakland Mayor Jean Quan and Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates launched a competition today to see whose city can get more residents to take a life-saving pledge: "I will never text while driving."
Participants will take the pledge on the It Can Wait Drive 4 Pledges Day, September 19, and share their promise with friends and loved ones via Twitter (#ItCanWait) and Facebook.
"Stories of tragedy caused by texting while driving are far too common. We need to take action now to reverse that trend and save lives," said Oakland Mayor Jean Quan at the Oakland Technical High School event. "This is why Oakland and Berkeley are standing together to challenge residents to take the pledge never to text while driving."
Challenge participants in competing cities use a short code to text in their pledge. Participants should text "icwBERK" (Berkeley) and "icwOAK" (Oakland) to 464329# from their mobile device to take the pledge and be counted. Due to city population sizes, four pledges from Oakland equal one from Berkeley.
"Our goal is to save lives," said Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates. "We make our roads safer by spreading awareness of this issue and taking personal responsibility to change our habits. Texting while driving should be as unacceptable as drinking and driving."
The It Can Wait movement is making a difference. One-in-three people who've seen the texting while driving message say they've changed their driving habits1, the campaign has inspired more than 2.5 million pledges never to text while driving and the recently launched "From One Second To The Next" documentary has received more than 2 million views since August 8, 2013.
"Texting while driving is dangerous and deadly. Pledge day is about children asking parents, employers asking employees and friends asking each other not to text and drive," said Ken McNeely, President of AT&T California. "California has more drivers and more road than any state in the nation – the risks from texting while driving are very real and it's up to each of us to live the pledge."
A ConnectSafely.org2 survey found that individuals who speak up can have a profound impact, particularly on teens.
As part of the national campaign, It Can Wait advocates take action by changing their social profile photos and banner to It Can Wait graphics and sharing their personal pledge stories on social media using the hashtag #ItCanWait. All materials such as social graphics and posters are available for download from ItCanWait.com. Participants join AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile US, Inc., Verizon and more than 200 other organizations by sharing their commitment to end texting while driving.
Other events and initiatives across the country include:
To take the pledge and get more information, visit www.ItCanWait.com.
1 AT&T Texting While Driving … It Can Wait Perceptions Study
2 ConnectSafely.org survey sponsored by AT&T
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About It Can Wait®
The It Can Wait® campaign, created to end texting and driving, has evolved into a movement. It currently is supported by the four largest U.S. wireless carriers, more than 200 other organizations and thousands of caring individuals. The movement has inspired more than 2.5 million pledges through ItCanWait.com, on Facebook, through text-to-pledge and tweet-to-pledge, and at events.
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