#X: New effort to keep teens from texting & driving, what is it?

MADISON (WITI) -- The Wisconsin State Patrol, AT&T and AAA announced on Friday, September 5th that they are teaming up for the fifth year on a series of high school events around the state to drive home the dangers of texting and driving. 25 assemblies will be held at high schools across Wisconsin throughout the 2014-15 school year.

Through its It Can Wait® campaign, AT&T is also introducing a new social tool (“#X”) that is geared toward helping teens stop texting and driving. “#X” is a tool that teens can use to pause a text or social conversation before beginning to drive. The symbol is a way for teens to quickly let their friends know that they are about to drive and won’t be responding to texts or social media until they arrive safely at their destination.

The events at Wisconsin high schools this school year will feature the “#X” tool, AT&T’s “The Last Text” documentary that shares real stories about lives altered by someone’s decision to text and drive, and AAA’s distracted driving simulator.

AT&T first launched the It Can Wait® campaign in 2009 to educate the public about the dangers of texting while driving and encourage consumers to take the pledge to not text and drive at ItCanWait.com. The campaign has now turned into a national social movement with support from organizations all across the country, including the Wisconsin State Patrol and AAA.

Wisconsin’s law, effective as of December 1, 2010, prohibits sending an e-mail or text message while driving and imposes a fine of up to $400. As a primary enforcement law, officers may stop and ticket drivers solely for texting and driving. Wisconsin is among 41 states and the District of Columbia that ban text messaging by all drivers.