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Officials say text messages can wait

POSTED: September 11, 2013 1:07 a.m.

The average text message takes five seconds to type.

For those texting while driving, those five seconds are “as though you’ve just driven the length of a football field blindfolded,” said Paul Chambers.

Chambers, an AT&T spokesman, addressed Lanier Technical College students Tuesday during Drive 4 Pledges Day.

The event, designed to encourage high school and college students to sign a pledge they won’t text and drive, was held at the Forsyth Conference Center.

Chambers asked those in attendance to read the last text message on their cellphones. None of those messages, he said, was worth being in an accident.

District 27 state Sen. Jack Murphy, a Cumming Republican who authored the bill that outlawed texting while driving in Georgia, pleaded with students to take the pledge.

“Let’s really get serious about not texting while driving, he said. “It only takes less than half a second for you to run into a car.

“Tell your friends because it’s serious business ... it can happen to you and it can happen to your friends.”

According to Murphy, it took a lot of work to get the legislation through. He said some critics complained the law interfered with personal privilege.

“Well, it’s not a personal privilege when you’re going to take somebody’s life,” he said. “Your personal privilege ends when you endanger someone else.

“Don’t fool yourself ... I can tell as well as I’m standing here who’s texting while driving. It’s not worth it.”

AT&T, which launched the It Can Wait campaign, had representatives on hand to collect pledges.

Chambers told them to take it a step further.

“If you know somebody is driving, don’t text them,” he said. “We’re just tempting them to take their eyes off the road.”


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