Albany mayor signs proclamation against texting and driving
Mayor Dorothy Hubbard with Courtney Brinson, AT&T Regional Director of External Affairs at the proclamation signing on Thursday in the mayor's office
Mayor Dorothy Hubbard
Courtney Brinson, AT&T Regional Director of External Affairs
ALBANY, GA (WALB) -
The mayor is urging you to put down your phones when you're behind the wheel.
Thursday, she signed a proclamation declaring Thursday, September 19th as "No Text on Board - Pledge Day". The effort is part of a nationwide campaign to raise awareness of the dangers of texting while driving.
Georgia is one of many states that have outlawed texting and driving, but it continues to be a problem. And city leaders hope participating in The Drive 4 Pledges Day will help save lives. And all it takes is just one simple sound to grab a driver's attention off the road for a life altering split second.
"The danger of lives that can't be restored, or the injuries that are often just so tragic that a person will have to deal with for a lifetime," said Courtney Brinson, AT&T Regional Director.
But the urge to see that message someone sent continues to pose a risk, especially among young drivers.
"75-percent of the teens say texting while driving is common among their friends," said Mayor Dorothy Hubbard.
The mayor is teaming up with major wireless carriers and nearly 200 organizations across the nation in an effort to make the roads safer.
"You have a social responsibility, even though you're providing a service in asking people to use it wisely," Brinson said.
And the city's support is essential.
"We set the tone for what ought to be happening in the city. And if they see me riding around texting on my phone, or one of the city employees, then certainly that's not a good one," said Hubbard.
While many teens admit to texting behind the wheel, 90% of them say they'd be willing to stop if one of the passengers in their car asked them to.
"A parent that says you're not going to do that in the car, or a grandparent saying that's not acceptable, that would go a long way toward preventing, currently, over 100,000 accidents a year," said Brinson.
But enforcement may be necessary for those who still won't listen.
"I would encourage our officers to be on the lookout for that kind of thing, because it is dangerous. And when you are putting yourself at risk, that's just not good driving habits," said Hubbard.
So setting your phone down when you're behind the wheel could be all it takes to save a life.
AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and T-mobile are all participating in the pledge not to text while driving. And Georgia drivers should know the offense carries a $150 fine and a one point violation if you get pulled over.
Texting drivers are 23-times more likely to be in an accident. Visit www.itcanwait.com for more information on how you can pledge not to text and drive.