News From Terre Haute, Indiana

August 17, 2012

EDITORIAL: Take pledge for safety

AT&T takes lead role in effort to curb texting while driving


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TERRE HAUTE — It always a positive sign when the private sector joins a public cause that strives, as its ultimate mission, to make things safer for everyone.

We applaud megacorporation AT&T today for its efforts to curb the practice of texting while driving. Their efforts will surely be warmly welcomed by those who have been working hard in recent years to raise awareness about this dangerous practice and create laws that seek to decrease and ultimately stop it.

This week, AT&T proclaimed its belief that texting and driving should be as unacceptable as drinking and driving, and called on drivers everywhere to pledge never to text and drive. The stated goal of this campaign, of course, is to save lives.

In a press release, the company urged Hoosiers and all Americans to make a lifelong commitment to stop texting while driving. It set Sept. 19 as its target date to obtain these pledges.

Texting and driving is indeed a serious road-safety problem. Fortunately, the Indiana legislature outlawed the practice in recent years, although the ban is difficult to enforce. Still, the mere existence of the law helps elevate the seriousness of the issue and we’d like to believe has helped in many ways make our roadways safer.

AT&T has joined with the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute to sponsor five events around the state, including one in Terre Haute, to educate teen drivers about the dangers of texting while driving. At each event, students will have the opportunity to use a driving simulator to learn firsthand the consequences of distracted driving.

The Terre Haute event will occur on Sept. 25. More details to come.

While the texting craze has been in large part a young person’s activity, people of all ages are guilty of the practice. Educating the public about texting while driving hazards should not be targeted just toward the young.

No matter your age, we urge you to follow AT&T’s lead in making a lifelong commitment to refrain from texting while driving. And please don’t wait until Sept. 19 to start.