AT&T announces Georgia Sheriffs Association as winner of Georgia First Responders It Can Wait video competition

Brings Virtual Reality Simulator to Georgia House Study Committee on Distracted Driving

The Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police, the Georgia Association of Fire Chiefs, the Georgia Sheriffs Association, the Georgia House Study Committee on Distracted Driving and Georgia Central Technical College join the AT&T* It Can Wait campaign to talk about the dangers of smartphone distracted driving.

Research shows that 7-in-10 people engage in smartphone activities while driving.** People are doing much more than texting from behind the wheel.

In 2010, AT&T launched the It Can Wait campaign to educate drivers about the risks and dangers inherent in smartphone distracted driving. The It Can Wait campaign shares a simple message: distracted driving is never OK. The campaign began with a focus on not texting and driving. It has now expanded to the broader dangers of smartphone use behind the wheel.

Nobody knows the importance of driving without distraction better than heroic first responders. As part of the AT&T Georgia First Responders It Can Wait Video Competition, the Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police, the Georgia Association of Fire Chiefs and the Georgia Sheriffs Association lent their voices to the It Can Wait campaign. AT&T has awarded $5,000 to each participating first responder organization and, today, awarded an additional $15,000 to the Georgia Sheriffs Association, whose ICW video received the most retweets over the course of the competition.

“In addition to increasing awareness on the dangers of distracted driving, we must recognize and support our heroic first responder community that witnesses the consequences of distracted driving firsthand,” said Representative John Carson, Chairman of the Georgia House Study Committee on Distracted Driving. “I am proud to co-chair the Georgia First Responders It Can Wait video competition and applaud AT&T on their efforts to promote public awareness of the risks of distracted driving.”

To drive home the It Can Wait message, AT&T brought a virtual reality simulator to the Georgia House Study Committee on Distracted Driving. Georgia State Legislators and Georgia Central Technical College administration, faculty and students experienced firsthand how dangerous it is to take their eyes off the road and glance at a phone.

“Driving with any distraction presents a danger to every motorist on the road. Whether a driver is texting, tweeting, taking a selfie or video, Georgia Sheriffs know all too well the likely outcome,” said Ron Freeman, Sheriff of Forsyth County. “That’s why we are grateful for our collaboration with AT&T and their It Can Wait campaign. We all know distracted driving is dangerous, and the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office and the Georgia Sheriff’s Association are committed to keeping Georgia’s roadways safe and raising awareness on the dangers of distracted driving. Let’s follow AT&T’s example and remember, it can wait.”

“Distracted driving is an increasingly concerning problem with 70% of people admitting to engaging in smartphone activities while behind the wheel,” said Senator Tyler Harper, Chairman of the Georgia Senate Public Safety Committee. “I encourage all drivers to join in the movement against distracted driving and applaud AT&T’s efforts to keep drivers’ eyes on the road, not on their phones.”

“Our goal is to share and reinforce this simple message - keep your eyes on the road, not on your phone,” said Terry Smith, AT&T Regional Director of External Affairs. “AT&T is using our It Can Wait simulator and the Georgia First Responders ICW Video campaign to help educate in an effort to change behavior and make our Georgia roadways safer.”

People can also use their own smartphone to view the 360° experience at home.

To learn more, visit ItCanWait.com.

* AT&T products and services are provided or offered by subsidiaries and affiliates of AT&T Inc. under the AT&T brand and not by AT&T Inc.

**Research commissioned by AT&T and conducted by Braun Research. Polled 2,067 people in the U.S. aged 16-65 who use their smartphone and drive at least once a day. Additional information available here.

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