SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 News) - It’s a commercial that’s getting a lot of play on television and a lot of attention from drivers nationwide. AT&T’s “It Can Wait,” campaign is designed to change the habits of drivers and save lives.
One includes a man named Will. The spot opens on a disabled main in a rehabilitation center holding a sign that says, “Where r.” Will says, "I’m currently suffering from a severe brain injury,” and the sign he’s holding represents the text message that caused the accident that changed his life forever.
AT&T’s message: No text is worth permanent brain damage.
Utah’s own Reggie Shaw knows the dangers of texting and driving. In 2006, he crossed over the center line on a Cache County highway and killed two men. Phone records show Shaw had made nearly a dozen texts right before the crash.
Shaw now speaks to students about the dangers of texting while driving. During one of his seminars he said, "I thought it was something I could do, that I could drive down the road and send a text message and be safe; drive just fine and not hurt anybody."
Experts at Utah’s No Fatalities say the average person takes their eyes off the road for 3 seconds when sending or reading a text - that's enough time to travel the length of a football field.
Stacy Johnson of No Fatalities said, "If you are texting while driving you are as dangerous as someone who is double the legal limit of alcohol."
Texting while driving, reading a text or an email in the state of Utah is illegal. If you're caught doing so it could mean a fine up to $750 dollars or 90 days in jail. If you kill someone while texting and driving it could be a $10,000 fine and up to 15 years in prison.