At its meeting last Thursday, the Avon Town Council adopted a proclamation designating Sept. 19 as “No Texting While Driving Day.”
In doing so, the council is calling for "Avon residents to take the pledge never to text and drive," according to a press release from the town.
“Text messaging has become the way many people communicate today, which means some people are doing it at the worst possible time – while driving,” Avon police Chief Mark Rinaldo said in a statement. “We need to help spread the message and continue to educate our community that when it comes to driving, texting can and should wait.”
Town Council members will take the pledge, according to the proclamation.
AT&T approached Avon last week about participating in its statewide campaign to discourage texting while driving. The cellphone company started its related “It Can Wait” campaign in Connecticut and nationwide "in 2009 to educate the public about the dangers of texting while driving by encouraging consumers to take the personal pledge not to text while driving," according to the press release.
The initiative compliments the driving safety awareness efforts already promoted by the police department, town and schools. The department is planning more "awareness and prevention activities" year-round.
Last year, the Avon Police Department and Avon Public Schools co-sponsored Orange Ribbon Day "to raise awareness around this issue," the press release stated.
People who text while driving "are 23 times more likely to be involved in some type of safety critical event as compared to those drivers who don't text while they drive," according to the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute. Texting and driving is also a contributing factor to "over 100,000 motor vehicles crashes each year, often causing injuries and deaths," the press release stated.