Oprah has one. Now AT&T has one. Will you sign up?
What’s this dude talking about, I hear you ask. Well, I hear some voices in my head and I’m going to go ahead and just say they’re your voices. Except for the one that tells me to take off all my clothes and run naked through the security screenings at the Charlotte-Douglas Airport. I know who that voice is and I hardly ever listen to him.
I’m talking about the no-text pledge.
There’s a great series of commercials running these days where people hold up signs with a few words printed on them. Those words are what they were reading in a text right before they had an accident, or right before a loved one had an accident. No text is worth it, is the message.
Oprah Winfrey has had a no-text pledge for a while in her no-phone zone. It’s a good idea. I even took the pledge myself in front of my three young dudes and, for the most part, I’ve stuck to it.
In a move mainly designed by PR flacks (the way I see it) AT&T has stepped up and also are asking people to sign their pledge that folks won’t send or read texts while driving. Remember those ads I was talking about up there a bit earlier? Turns out, they’re from AT&T.
Randall Stephenson, CEO of AT&T, was watching the Olympics with his daughter when she saw it — an ad featuring a man in a wheelchair suffering from a severe brain injury and holding a sign with the text: “Where r.”
“This is the text message that caused the car accident that changed my life forever,” the man said.
According to Stephenson, the ad did its job.
“She said, ‘Dad … that’s heavy’,” he said. “I said, it’s supposed to be heavy. It got your attention and that’s what we’re trying to accomplish.”
The ad, from AT&T, is part of the mobile company’s “It Can Wait” campaign. First launched in 2009, the campaign aims to curb texting and driving, especially among young drivers. It will be ramping up between now and September 19, or what the campaign is calling “No Text on Board — Pledge Day.”
Teens report doing so at more than twice that rate, with 43% admitting to doing so in an AT&T survey.
People texting are 23 times more likely to get into an accident than other drivers, according to the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute.
So, yeah, I think this is something we can all agree on. No texting while driving. I mean, that’s what the shotgun seat is for.