Milwaukee Boys & Girls Club teens urged to take pledge to keep eyes on the road, not on their phones

June 2, 2016


On Tuesday, May 31, 2016, teens at the Mary Ryan Boys & Girls Club in Milwaukee learned about the dangers of smartphone activities while driving and had the chance to experience the hazards firsthand when the AT&T It Can Wait® virtual reality driving simulator visited the Club.
AT&T, AAA and the Wisconsin State Patrol brought the virtual reality driving simulator to the Mary Ryan Boys & Girls Club as part of the It Can Wait® campaign to remind students that smartphone activity should wait until after driving. Teens were also encouraged to sign a pledge to keep their eyes on the road and not on their phones.
“Many of today’s young drivers are texting or looking down at their phones when their eyes should be on the road,” said Vincent Lyles, President & CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee. “Here at the Clubs, one of our primary goals is to keep our kids safe, and that includes helping them make good choices when they are behind the wheel. We hope our young people take the It Can Wait message to heart.”
The AT&T virtual reality driving simulator is visiting Milwaukee as part of AT&T’s nationwide tour to raise awareness about the dangers of distracted driving. The simulator gives students the chance to virtually experience what happens when you text and drive.
The effort is part of AT&T’s It Can Wait® campaign, which has expanded from a focus on texting while driving to include other smartphone activities now common behind the wheel.
“When we launched the It Can Wait campaign five years ago, our message was simple – no text is worth a life,” said Scott T. VanderSanden, president of AT&T Wisconsin. “The same applies to other smartphone activities. We are urging drivers, especially teens, to keep their eyes on the road and not on their phones.”
In December 2015, Wisconsin marked the five-year anniversary of its ban on texting while driving.
“Even though it’s against the law and extremely dangerous, we know some people are still texting on their phones while driving when they shouldn’t be,” said State Representative Evan Goyke. “Campaigns like It Can Wait are a great way to spread awareness about the dangers and encourage drivers of all ages to put down their phones when they are behind the wheel.”
“If you text while driving, your hands are not on the steering wheel, your eyes are not on the road, and your attention is not on the traffic and road conditions around you,” said Wisconsin State Patrol Superintendent Stephen Fitzgerald. “Texting while driving will, without a doubt, increase your risk of causing a crash or failing to avoid one. You are putting yourself, your passengers, and everyone else on the road in grave danger.”
Research from AT&T shows 7 in 10 people engage in smartphone activities while driving. Texting and emailing are still the most prevalent, but 4 in 10 drivers also tap into social media. More than 25 percent are on Facebook, 1 in 7 are on Twitter, almost 3 in 10 surf the net, and surprisingly, 1 in 10 video chat.
“Advancements in technology have led to a growth in the number and type of smartphone distractions for drivers. Not only are drivers texting, but they are also emailing, posting on social media and even taking videos when they should be focused on driving,” said Alderman Khalif Rainey.
AT&T first launched the It Can Wait® campaign in 2010 to educate the public about the dangers of texting while driving and encourage people to take the pledge to not text and drive at
The campaign has now expanded and turned into a national social movement with support from organizations all over the country, including the Wisconsin State Patrol and AAA. Since 2010, AT&T, AAA and the State Patrol have partnered together to hold events in 99 cities throughout Wisconsin, reaching over 40,000 high school students.
The It Can Wait® campaign has inspired nearly 8.4 million pledges not to text and drive across the country. Visit to learn more.