AT&T Launches Campaign to Educate Wireless Customers on Risks of Texting While Driving

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I guess this is a good thing… now if we can only educate drivers about the dangers of eating, reading the paper and putting on makeup while driving as well! And of course let’s educate them as to what a red light is and what a stop sign is for while we’re at it!

Text messaging has experienced a tenfold increase in the past three years*, according to CTIA — The Wireless Association. Unfortunately, this texting boom means that many may be tap-tapping away at perhaps the worst possible time: while driving.

Today, at the Detroit Economic Club, AT&T Chairman and CEO Randall Stephenson will announce AT&T’s commitment to address this issue through an initiative to communicate to wireless consumers, especially youth, on the dangers of texting behind the wheel.

"Texting has increasingly become the way to communicate for many people, and the urge to quickly read and respond — even while driving — can be tempting," said Stephenson. "Our goal is to send a simple, yet vital, message to all wireless users: don’t text and drive."

Stephenson said AT&T will be participating in the Distracted Driving Summit, hosted by U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and the Department of Transportation, which starts tomorrow in Washington, D.C.

"We commend the administration for putting a spotlight on this important issue and bringing the industry together to discuss solutions," said Stephenson. "We hope others will join us in prohibiting their employees from texting while driving and helping educate the public about the dangers of texting while driving."

  The new campaign is expected to reach millions and includes:

  --  AT&T Employee Education: AT&T is in the process of revising its
      wireless and motor vehicle policies to expressly prohibit texting
      while driving.  AT&T, one of the country's leading employers and with
      one of the largest commercial fleets, is also incorporating a section
      on the dangers of texting while driving in its defensive driving
      classes for employees who drive on the job.  All of the company's
      nearly 290,000 employees are required to review AT&T's policies
      periodically. Employees who drive as part of their job are also
      required to take refresher defensive driving classes.
  --  Handset Messaging: In time for the busy holiday selling season, the
      majority of new devices from AT&T will begin to include the
      don't-text-and-drive message on the plastic clings that protect
      handset screens through AT&T's more than 16,000 company-owned stores
      and kiosks, authorized dealers and third party retail locations
      throughout the U.S. AT&T is working with handset and device
      manufacturers to ensure that as many AT&T wireless devices as possible
      will eventually carry the campaign message -- either via screen clings
      or in the user guides and other collateral.
  --  Public Service Announcements: AT&T will produce a series of public
      service announcements (PSAs). The PSAs, some of which will include
      high-profile spokespersons, will appear in the coming months and will
      be targeted to a variety of audiences -- from adults to parents and
      teens -- to discourage texting while driving. As one of America's
      leading advertisers, AT&T will work with media outlets, both
      traditional and digital, to secure significant exposure for these
      educational spots.
  --  Online Resources: AT&T will create an online resource center for
      downloadable tools and tips for parents, high school educators and
      others on this issue. Tools will include a parent-teen pledge, posters
      for high school drivers' education classes, as well as a teacher's
      guide, tip sheet and fact sheet. AT&T's Web site is a popular online
      destination, attracting millions of unique visitors each month.
  --  Customer Communications: AT&T reaches millions of customers every day
      through a variety of touch points that include catalogs, in-store
      signage and collateral, bills, e-mails, opt-in text messages and
      newsletters, as well as via AT&T U-verse(SM) TV on-air channels, which
      have the potential to reach 1.6 million subscribers. Campaign
      messaging on this issue will also be integrated throughout these and
      other customer touch points.

  --  Support Safety Organizations: AT&T will continue to work with CTIA --
      The Wireless Association (www.ctia.org), The National Safety Council
      (www.nsc.org) and other third parties to support their efforts to
      educate the public about the dangers of texting while driving.

* CTIA – The Wireless Association (http://ctia.org/advocacy/research/index.cfm/AID/10323)

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.

About AT&T

AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) is a premier communications holding company. Its subsidiaries and affiliates – AT&T operating companies – are the providers of AT&T services in the United States and around the world. With a powerful array of network resources that includes the nation’s fastest 3G network, AT&T is a leading provider of wireless, Wi-Fi, high speed Internet and voice services. AT&T offers the best wireless coverage worldwide, offering the most wireless phones that work in the most countries. It also offers advanced TV services under the AT&T U-verse(SM) and AT&T | DIRECTV(SM) brands. The company’s suite of IP-based business communications services is one of the most advanced in the world. In domestic markets, AT&T’s Yellow Pages and YELLOWPAGES.COM organizations are known for their leadership in directory publishing and advertising sales. In 2009, AT&T again ranked No. 1 in the telecommunications industry on FORTUNE® magazine’s list of the World’s Most Admired Companies. Additional information about AT&T Inc. and the products and services provided by AT&T subsidiaries and affiliates is available at http://www.att.com/.

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