Today I joined LAPD Chief Beck, LAFD Chief Peaks and Kenneth P. McNeely, California President of AT&T to deliver a simple message: texting while driving is dangerous, unnecessary, and unacceptable.
As Angelenos, we may not share the same heritage or the same beliefs, but we do share this City--from the Hollywood sign to the Venice boardwalk, from Brentwood to Boyle Heights. And sharing this city means sharing our roads.
So when someone texts and drives, they're putting their fellow Angelenos at risk--not to mention themselves and their family.
The nonprofit organization National Safety Council blames 28% of annual traffic accidents on motorists talking or texting while driving. While a recent Virginia Tech study showed that drivers are 23 TIMES MORE LIKELY to have an accident while sending text messages. This is as dangerous as driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
It's a no-brainer then to support AT&T's No Texting While Driving campaign. I've taken the pledge to never text and drive, and I'm asking the over 37,000 City employees to do the same.
And since this problem is especially rampant among teenagers, LAUSD is also joining AT&T's campaign by asking students to take the pledge as well. According to the Pew Internet and American Life Project, 26% of American teens have texted while driving and 48% of all teens 12 to 17 years old say they've been a passenger while a driver has texted.
This is truly frightening. We need to let our children loud and clear know that nothing--especially a text--is more important than their safety.
I applaud AT&T for launching this campaign to encourage responsible, safe cell phone use, and I stand behind its slogan that "When it comes to Texting and Driving...It can Wait."