AT&T Pushes 'No Texting While Driving' Pledge

Dennis Faas's picture

AT&T has joined with government agencies in a campaign aimed at reducing the number of people who text while driving. Company chief Randall Stephenson said he views the campaign as both a personal and a corporate responsibility.

During a recent investor conference, Stephenson said he knew a driver who had caused an accident while texting, and that since raising the issue he has spoken to many people who know such drivers, or who have caused accidents themselves.

Stephenson says that AT&T has a corporate duty to participate in public safety campaigns on the subject. That's why AT&T has joined the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the Department of Transportation (DOT) and others in the "It Can Wait" campaign.

Texting Plus Driving: A Risk Not Worth Taking

Those behind the campaign state that someone in the United States is injured or killed every five minutes as a result of texting while driving. The "It Can Wait" claims there's no text worth risking such harm to others or one's self. (Source:

In addition to promoting the campaign through advertising and social media, AT&T has also backed a series of events around the country. One of the main draws at these events: a driving and texting simulator.

The company has also asked all its employees and customers to sign a pledge they will never text while driving.

At the end of September, 2012, AT&T will launch a free smartphone app for Android and BlackBerry phones, called DriveMode, which automatically blocks users from texting when the device is traveling at more than 25 miles per hour.

It's unclear at the moment whether the app blocks only drivers from texting, or blocks passengers' texts as well.

Safety Groups Say Legislation Needed

Safety campaigners have welcomed AT&T's involvement, and argue that tougher laws and stricter enforcement on distracted driving are also necessary.

AT&T says it believes publicity is the better approach to solve this problem, and that it won't be drawn into efforts to enact anti-texting-while-driving legislation. (Source:

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