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Katy, TX News (June 21, 2017) –  The AT&T* IT CAN WAIT campaign has partnered with the YMCA of Greater Houston to raise awareness about the dangers of smartphone distracted driving. Research shows that seven in 10 people engage in smartphone activities while driving.** And, people are doing much more than texting from behind the wheel.

To drive home the message, AT&T and the YMCA are bringing the IT CAN WAIT virtual reality simulator to six YMCA locations in the Greater Houston area from June 21 to July 3. Participants will have the opportunity to experience firsthand how dangerous it is to take their eyes off the road and glance at a phone.

On June 30 at 11 a.m., community leaders, law enforcement and emergency response officials will gather at the Trotter Family YMCA, 1331 Augusta Dr., to promote the campaign to the media and encourage those in attendance to think twice before engaging in this dangerous behavior. Among those will be David Lopez, vice president of Social Responsibility at the YMCA of Greater Houston, Al Bennett, community liaison for the Houston Fire Department, Officer Janette Arceneaux of the Houston Police Department, and Kerrick Henny, senior vice president of External Affairs at AT&T Texas.

“The YMCA of Greater Houston is excited to partner with AT&T and help instill safer driving habits in everyone,” said Paul McEntire, president and CEO of the YMCA of Greater Houston. “Refraining from texting while driving is a matter of social responsibility, and social responsibility is an essential value of the Y. We are proud to participate in this national initiative to remind all drivers that their lives and the lives of others matter most.”

“It’s important that we all work together to educate the community on the dangers of using a smartphone while driving,” said Henny. “While many tragedies are out of our control, the ones caused by distracted driving are completely preventable. The simulator is a powerful tool to raises awareness and educate the public about the very real dangers of these actions to change this dangerous and sometimes deadly behavior.”

IT CAN WAIT is a national movement urging drivers to keep their eyes on the road, not on their phones—distracted driving is never OK. The campaign began with a focus on not texting and driving. It has now expanded to the broader dangers of smartphone use behind the wheel. People can also use their own smartphone to view the 360° experience at home.

Courtesy of YMCA of Greater Houston