A virtual reality texting while driving simulator has been set up at the Missouri State Capitol to spread awareness about the dangers of texting while driving and are hoping to drive home the message to help make Missouri roads and highways safer. The company AT&T with the “It Can Wait” campaign held the event that is challenging Missouri lawmakers and encouraging drivers to take the pledge to not text and drive.
Regional Director of External Affairs with AT&T Mike Haynes says the simulator is utilized is just like a regular vehicle. The “driver” sits down in it, there’s a gas pedal and a brake, a steering wheel, and a cell phone that’s set up next to the simulator to receive and send texts.
Haynes says the campaign is mainly aimed at targeting young drivers, although the simulator is meant for all ages. “Because they’re newer drivers and they aren’t as experienced, so we tend to target them with our campaign,” he said. “But we do know from surveys, it really is an issue for people of all ages who text, so it really is an all ages message.”
Haynes says AT&T is also also looking to take its campaign nationwide, having previously used the simulator in Cape Girardeau.
It’s against the law in the state to be texting while driving if you are under the age of 21.
AUDIO: Mary Farucci reports. (1:01)