Sept. 19 declared Drive 4 Pledges Day in Red Bay

RED BAY – With a strong emphasis placed on not texting while driving, several cities and towns are throwing their support behind Drive 4 Pledges Day, which is an extension of the popular It Can Wait campaign spearheaded by four national wireless service providers.

Drive 4 Pledges Day is scheduled for September 19 and event organizers are urging people to share their commitment to never text and drive on that day.

At the last city council meeting, Red Bay Mayor David Tiffin read and signed a proclamation designating Thursday, Sept. 19, 2013 as Drive 4 Pledges Day in the city of Red Bay.

“I think that it is important that we recognize this day and that all our citizens take the pledge to not text and drive seriously,” Tiffin said.

“It is something that I am sure we have all been guilty of in the past, but I am signing this proclamation and will do my best to not ever text while driving again.

“I hope that many people, young people and adults alike, will take the pledge to keep themselves and others on the road safe by not being distracted by a text message.”

Aspiring to create a social stigma around this dangerous habit of texting while driving, Drive 4 Pledges Day will focus on getting individuals involved in taking the pledge to never text and drive while encouraging others in their community to do the same. These individuals will join AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile US, Inc., Verizon and more than 200 other organizations by sharing their commitment not to text and drive while increasing awareness of the dangers.

A ConnectSafely.org1 survey found that individuals who speak up can have a profound impact, particularly on teens.

The survey found that 78 percent of teen drivers said they’re likely not to text and drive if friends tell them it’s wrong or stupid; 90 percent said they’d stop if a friend in the car asked them to; 93 percent would stop if a parent in the car asked them to; and 44 percent said that they would be thankful if a passenger complained about their texting while driving.

Event officials said individuals can sign up now at ItCanWait.com to get resources that will help them share their commitment on social media and personalize the movement on the streets of their communities on key activation days.

Advocates will be encouraged to do things like change their social profile photos and banner to It Can Wait graphics, and share their personal pledge stories using the hashtag #ItCanWait.

Offline activations will include hosting pledge drives and distributing posters in their schools, workplaces and neighborhoods. All materials such as social graphics and posters will be available for download from ItCanWait.com.

“Texting while driving claims too many lives, and raising awareness of this completely preventable tragedy is key to saving them,” U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx said.

“We’ve seen success before through our seatbelts and our drunk driving campaigns, and I both applaud the It Can Wait campaign for its efforts to raise awareness and encourage everyone to make a commitment on Drive 4 Pledges Day to drive focused and distraction-free.”

To take the pledge and get more information, visit www.ItCanWait.com.

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