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The West Virginia Department of Agriculture is teaming up with AT&T for the It Can Wait campaign. (WCHS/WVAH)
The West Virginia Department of Agriculture is teaming up with AT&T for the It Can Wait campaign.
The Department of Agriculture has more than 300 employees who are supposed to take safe driver training.
On Thursday, AT&T set up a virtual reality simulator at the department’s headquarters, which allows staff to experience firsthand how dangerous it is to take their eyes off the road.
"We have a lot of people on the road,” said Crescent Gallagher, Communications Director at the West Virginia Department of Agriculture. “They often have to respond to emails, text messages, phone calls. The goal here is to get them to stop or take a break real quick if they need to respond to something."
The It Can Wait campaign is a national movement that's been around for 10 years.
It first started with a focus on not texting and driving but has now expanded to broader dangers of smartphone use behind the wheel.
"People have said it's [virtual reality simulator] eye opening, disturbing to show the dangers and how quickly you can be involved in an automobile accident hurting somebody,” said Andy Feeney, AT&T Regional Vice President and External Affairs. “I guess what we're trying to say here is no life is worth a text, no email, no social update and it can wait.”
The It Can Wait campaign has more than 17 million people who've taken the pledge.
Feeney said they’ve found those who have pledged are less likely to text and drive.