MARYLAND HEIGHTS, MO (KTVI)-- Communications/cell phone giant AT&T launched an all-out assault in St. Louis "texting and driving", Wednesday, as students headed back to school.
The company is spending millions to get out a 3 word 'text': IT CAN WAIT.
Here`s the idea: type it before you drive, hit 'send', then put down the phone and drive.
Part of the campaign remains the AT&T produced documentary, 'The Last Text', which has more than 3 million YouTube hits.
Perhaps you shouldn`t have to see it to know better; perhaps once you do see it, you will.
'It`s at that point I noticed her cap and gown were still with her,' a Missouri Trooper says about the accident that killed Mariah West, 18, near Neosho, MO; the accident featured in the documentary.
'The day before her graduation my daughter went to meet a boy and she never made it,' a tearful Merry Dye, West`s mother, says in the video.
West had just typed the text message, 'where you at' prior to crashing and dying.
Workers at the close to 2000 AT&T stores nationwide started wearing 'No Text on Board' shirts, Wednesday, and began handing out stickers with that logo to customers, while asking those customers to take a no texting and driving pledge.
'It is crazy because 1 second is all it takes to run into someone, hit a pedestrian; just anything can happen,' said Debra Hollingsworth, an AT&T Vice-President for External Affairs. 'It`s too serious not to take action. There are people dying from it. We hear about 100,000 accidents every year involved texting while driving. We feel it`s a matter of life or death.'
'I work in health care. We see the ramifications of people who text and drive every day. So it`s just not worth it for me or anyone else,' said customer, Sarah Moffett.
And, even though an NTSB investigation found Danny Schatz, 19, of Sullivan, MO, was texting just
before a crash involving his pickup, a tractor-trailer, and 2 school buses in August 2010 on I-44 in Gray Summi, killing Schatz and Jessica Brinker, 15, a passenger on one of the buses, drivers were still looking at their phones as they cruised by the AT&T store on Brentwood Wednesday night.
So, maybe you really do need to see what happened to Mariah West in that documentary to get the message.
So maybe you do need to see what happened to mariah - to get the message.
'We need to see that. We need to know, it can be the last text,' Hollingsworth said.
AT&T is calling on everyone to sign the no texting and driving pledge September 19th, if not earlier.
The company's offering a free "drive mode" app that sends a message to anyone who texts you while you're driving, to let them know, you'll get back to them when you get to where you're going. There's even an app in the works to allow parents to disable their kids' phones when those kids are driving -- to take it out of their hands altogether.
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