Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente, Oneida County Sheriff Rob Maciol, New York State Police Captain Mary Clark, Oneida County Traffic Safety Advisory Board Chairman Dave Tomidy and AAA Team Up with AT&T to Bring its Nationally-Touring 3D Virtual Reality Simulator to Utica to Demonstrate the Dangers of Smartphone Distracted Driving

It Can (All) Wait Behind the Wheel

 WHO/WHY:       AT&T* research shows that 7 in 10 people engage in smartphone activities while driving.** It’s no longer safe to assume that people are just texting from behind the wheel. They’re checking email, posting to social media, snapping selfies and even video chatting and playing games like Pokémon Go.

To drive home the message, “It Can (All) Wait,” AT&T has teamed up with Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente Jr., Oneida County Sheriff Rob Maciol, New York State Police Captain Mary Clark, Oneida County Traffic Safety Advisory Board Chairman Dave Tomidy and AAA to bring the AT&T nationally-touring 3D virtual reality simulator to the Oneida County Office Building as part of Distracted Driving Awareness Day in Oneida County. This educational and free opportunity will allow the public to experience firsthand how dangerous it is to take their eyes off the road and glance at a phone even for just two seconds. The virtual reality simulator “pit stop” in Utica is one of 200 nationwide in 2017.

In addition, the It Can Wait 3D virtual reality simulator’s stop in Utica raises awareness for AAA’s 100 Deadliest Days for Drivers – the period between Memorial Day and Labor Day when teen crash fatalities historically climb. With more young and inexperienced drivers, motorcycles, farm vehicles and bicyclists on the road, as well as pedestrians, it’s a great reminder for teen drivers to put the phone down while driving. Partnering law enforcement agencies will also be providing literature on the dangers of distracted driving and discuss the laws that pertain to the dangerous behavior throughout the day.

 WHEN:                 Tuesday, July 11th from: 10:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m

***At 10:30  a.m. there will be a short media briefing and photo opportunity to unveil the simulator to the public with the County Executive, Sheriff’s Department, New York State Police  and representatives from AT&T, Oneida County Traffic Safety Advisory Board and AAA.

 WHERE:               Oneida County Office Bldg., 800 Park Ave., Utica, NY in front of the building under the covered area

 WHAT:                 When you’re behind the wheel, everything can change in theblink of an eye. A post, a selfie, a text, a scroll, an email—one look is all it takes. This simulation shows the consequences of glancing at a phone while driving in a 3D fully-immersive experience.

 People can also use their own smartphone to view the 360° experience at home.  To learn more, visit ItCanWait.com/VR.

 The nationwide virtual reality simulator tour focuses on the dangers of smartphone distractions while driving and the unique virtual reality simulator experience is part of the AT&T It Can Wait campaign, which urges drivers to keep their eyes on the road, not on their phones. The campaign began with a focus on not texting and driving. It has now expanded to the broader dangers of smartphone use behind the wheel.

 

Since its launch in 2010, the It Can Wait campaign has:

  • Helped grow awareness of the dangers of smartphone distracted driving to nearly 90% of audiences surveyed.
  • Inspired more than 15 million pledges to not drive distracted.
  • Worked with departments of transportation in various states on research that suggests a correlation between IT CAN WAIT campaign activities and a reduction in crashes.
  • Collaborated with AT&T data scientists on research that shows how statewide anti-texting laws impact the rate of texting while driving. 

VISUALS:

·         3D virtual reality simulator

·         Opportunity for reporters/videographers/photojournalists to experience simulator

·         Interview opportunities with simulator “drivers,” County Executive, Sheriff’s Department, NYS Police, and representatives from AT&T, Oneida County Traffic Safety Advisory Board and AAA

·          It Can Wait sizzle reel

 * AT&T products and services are provided or offered by subsidiaries and affiliates of AT&T Inc. under the AT&T brand and not by AT&T Inc.

 ** Research commissioned by AT&T and conducted by Braun Research. Polled 2,067 people in the U.S. aged 16-65 who use their smartphone and drive at least once a day. Additional information available here.

 

Lockwood Law

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