Well, yesterday, AT&T’s chairman and chief executive, Randall Stephenson, spoke at a conference in New York and addressed this issue before discussing the state of the telecom business. According to an article in the New York Times, AT&T is not the first carrier to address this issue, but it happens to be a personal matter for Mr. Stephenson.
“Mr. Stephenson said in an interview that a few years ago someone close to him caused an accident while texting. As he has become more vocal about texting and driving, he said people were coming up to him and writing him with their own stories of tragedy, including admissions that they caused accidents,” said Matt Richtel of the New York Times.
He chose to address this issue because one of the biggest products that AT&T sells is the smartphone, which is being used inappropriately. But this message can only go so far…
To date, only 39 states have texting while driving bans. Let’s hope that the number soon reaches 50.
And to help put this plan into action, AT&T is offering their DriveMode app for free on September 30. This app disables texting when the phone is traveling more than 25 miles per hour. It’s currently only available for the BlackBerry and Android, but hoping it is available on the iPhone soon. This app was also created to help support the “It Can Wait” campaign.
I really think that what AT&T is doing is great – and I’m hoping the public listens to the campaigns. And maybe other carriers, like Verizon, will consider doing something along the same lines.
There are so many things the public can do to help as well, such as taking the pledge not to text and drive or share your story online or via Twitter, using #itcanwait as a trending topic.
What are you doing to prevent yourself from texting and driving? I don’t own a car, but when I did, I would put my phone in my purse on the passenger’s seat. That would avoid all temptation to check my phone for texts that can clearly wait.