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posted: 11/5/2012 2:51 PM

Harper community to take anti-texting pledge

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Submitted by Harper College

Sending a text, tweet or email from behind the wheel can be deadly, with studies showing someone is killed or injured every five minutes in the United States in a crash that happened while a driver was texting.

AT&T is teaming with Harper College to spread the word. The company will bring its "It Can Wait" campaign to Harper's main campus on Thursday, Nov. 15, allowing students, faculty and community members to take an official pledge to not text and drive. The event, from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. in the Student Center on the main floor of Building A, will include comments from Lieutenant Governor Sheila Simon and Harper President Dr. Kenneth Ender.

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"It's so important to raise more awareness of the potential, life-threatening ramifications of texting and driving," said Student Activities director Ernie Kimlin, who says he was surprised to learn that more than 40 percent of teens admit to texting and driving even though nearly all of them acknowledges it's dangerous. "We're getting involved because almost every student at Harper College has a cellphone, and as educators, it's our responsibility to make sure students understand the dangers and -- as much as we can -- help keep our students safe."

AT&T is known for its strong stance against messaging while driving; its latest "It Can Wait" public awareness campaign was launched this summer, and the online pledge is at its core. The website, www.itcanwait.com, also boasts a downloadable app that will send automatic responses to family and friends letting them know you're behind the wheel, a video on texting-and-driving dangers and testimonials from celebs and others who've signed on to the campaign.

The Harper-hosted event is open to the public, and everyone is able to take the no-texting pledge.

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