'It Can Wait' campaign hopes to curb texting while driving


by JESSICA VESS / KVUE News & Photojournalist KENNETH NULL

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Posted on September 19, 2013 at 11:36 AM

Updated Thursday, Sep 19 at 11:40 AM

AUSTIN -- Mayor Lee Leffingwell joined a national campaign on Thursday to curb texting and driving.

Mayors United Against Texting While Driving is part of a nation-wide movement urging drivers to take a pledge that they won't text while they're behind the wheel.

"It Can Wait" is based on social media. The campaign runs through Sept. 30. The goal is to get as many drivers as possible to make the pledge. They can join by texting "icwaustin" to 464329.

Mayor Leffingwell said he's joining the movement because he's seen the problem grow in recent years.

"Distracted driving is extremely dangerous," said Leffingwell. "We recognize that it's on us to take action and do something about this issue."

The mayor supported by the Austin Police, Fire and EMS departments as well as the University of Texas Police Department. They're working alongside AT&T to spread the word of the pledge drive.

A survey by AT&T found that 75 percent of teenagers acknowledged that texting and driving is common among their friends.

"Something must be done to curb this trend," said UT Police Chief David Carter. "We encourage everyone at UT and in Austin to take the pledge. You could be the difference between another senseless texting while driving-related fatality and saving a life."

The National Safety Council reports that more than 100,000 crashes a year involve drivers who were texting. Pledge results will be announced on Oct. 1.