Mayor Julián Castro today kicked off the Mayors United Against Texting While Driving social media Drive 4 Pledges. Mayor Castro, the San Antonio Police Department and the City of San Antonio are partnering with AT&T and the It Can Wait movement to launch this initiative in an effort to combat the dangerous practice of texting while driving.
The Mayors United Against Texting While Driving campaign challenges the people of San Antonio to take the pledge to never text while driving. The citizens of San Antonio can make this commitment to themselves and their communities by texting “icwSanAntonio” to 464329.
“Across Texas, and across our nation, texting while driving has become an often fatal epidemic that must be addressed,” Mayor Castro said. “We are proud to partner with AT&T and the It Can Wait movement to engage our citizens, increase awareness around this issue and ultimately save lives.”
This campaign will run in a number of cities across Texas from Sept. 19 through Sept. 30, 2013, with the goal of getting as many citizens as possible to pledge never to text while driving. Pledge results will be announced the week of Oct. 1, 2013.
“A single text represents a potential fatality,” said Renee Flores, AT&T Regional Vice President for External and Legislative Affairs. “Mayors United Against Texting While Driving is a significant step toward our goal of making texting while driving as unacceptable as drinking and driving, We are excited to partner with the City of San Antonio and SAPD as we help make Texas roads safer. No text message, email or instant message, regardless of how urgent it may seem at the time, is worth your life or the lives of those around you. It can wait. And it must wait.”
Mayors United Against Texting While Driving is being launched in association with the It Can Wait movement’s September 19 Drive 4 Pledges Day. Creating a social stigma around the fatal habit of texting is a goal of Drive 4 Pledges Day, which focuses on getting individuals to take the pledge to never text and drive, while encouraging others in their community to do the same.
"SAPD is dedicated to public safety and the dangers of texting and driving affects this safety. We encourage motorists to ‘wait’ to text and help reduce traffic crashes and even death,” said San Antonio Police Chief William McManus.
Supporters are asked to help spread the word to their families, friends and communities through social media. Advocates are encouraged to change their social profile photos and banner to It Can Wait graphics, as well as share their personal pledge stories using the hash tag #ItCanWait. These individuals will join AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile US, Verizon and more than 200 other organizations by sharing their commitments not to text and drive, while increasing awareness of the dangers.
Cities across Texas are participating in Drive 4 Pledges Day, which has kicked off coast-to-coast with a variety of awareness campaigns, including:
- More than 1,400 Drive 4 Pledges events are scheduled for communities across the nation, including more than 1,300 at high schools.
- #ItCanWait tweets and Instagram posts will stream on ItCanWait.com.
- A National Organizations of Youth Safety Teen Distracted Driving Prevention Summit in Washington D.C. Sept. 18-20, 2013, including a rally with more than 75 teens, FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel, Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez, NTSB Vice Chairman Christopher Hart and singer/actress Zendaya Coleman.
- AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon are running co-branded advertising on national TV programming, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube, and displaying the message in their tens of thousands of stores nationwide.
- Disney World parks are sharing the message with their 100,000+ cast members and on post signs for guests.
- Goodyear blimps are displaying the message It Can Wait in the skies over Miami and Los Angeles.
- Several Major League Baseball teams will drum up support by reaching out to fans during games, urging them to take the pledge. Participating clubs include the Los Angeles Dodgers, Minnesota Twins, Seattle Mariners, Pittsburgh Pirates, and Washington Nationals. NFL players will tweet their support of Drive 4 Pledges Day with their friends and fans.