Weekly Feature

2018-06-13 / Business

‘It Can Wait’ virtual reality simulator comes to State Police Troop A

As part of AT&T’s ongoing support of first responders across New York and to assist state police in the education of drivers on the dangers of distracted driving, the company contributed an “It Can Wait” 3D virtual reality simulator to Troop A to be used across Western New York for public safety education and programming.

Troop A covers and protects Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, Genesee, Niagara, Orleans and Wyoming counties.

This new technological educational tool will allow Troop A to provide drivers with firsthand experience of the dangers of taking their eyes off the road. The virtual reality simulator includes a virtual reality goggle and device kit, distracted driving signage, and pledge boards to be used at events to help curb distracted driving and smartphone use behind the wheel.

The contribution to Troop A is also part of AT&T’s longstanding commitment to support first responders and public safety efforts in New York and across the country. To date, AT&T has collaborated with law enforcement in more than 80 “It Can Wait” education programs at schools, Department of Motor Vehicles events and public education safety events over the past three years.

This simulation highlights the consequences of glancing at a phone while driving in a 3D, fully immersive experience. AT&T research shows that nine 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 engaging in video chatting and online games.

“This donation grows out of AT&T’s legacy of supporting first responders in New York and across the country and our longstanding collaboration with law enforcement to educate drivers of all ages on the dangers of using their phones behind the wheel through our ‘It Can Wait’ program,” said Marissa Shorenstein, president of AT&T’s northwest region.

“At AT&T, we stress that no message is worth your life or another person’s life and to always keep your eyes on the road, not on your phone. We applaud the brave men and women of the New York State Police for all they do to keep our roads safe and for their public education programs related to distracted driving. We are proud to be able to provide these virtual reality simulators to help save drivers’ lives.”

“The New York State Police Troop A is pleased to work in partnership with AT&T to educate communities regarding distracted driving. The hands-on tools that AT&T has provided will be put to great use across Western New York, allowing both youth and experienced drivers to witness and experience the seriousness of distracted driving,” said Trooper James O’Callaghan, Troop A public information officer.

“The New York Police Troop A extends our gratitude to AT&T in ensuring our roads are safer through the virtual simulators donated. Working together, we will hopefully drop the very high distracted-driving statistics statewide.”

AT&T’s ‘It Can Wait’ campaign is a national movement urging drivers to keep their eyes on the road rather than on their phones. The campaign began with a focus on not texting and driving and has 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 president distracted region driving to nearly 90 percent of audiences surveyed.

Inspired more than 25 million pledges to not drive while distracted.

Worked with departments of transportation in various states on research that suggests a correlation between the ‘It Can Wait’ campaign activities and a reduction in automobile crashes.

Collaborated with AT&T data scientists on research that shows how statewide anti-texting laws impact the rate of texting while driving.

To learn more, visit www.ItCanWait.com/VR.

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