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Ortt, AAA, State Parks, police partners team with AT&T to bring nationally touring 3D virtual reality simulator to Niagara Falls


Wed, Jul 20th 2016 02:15 pm

'It Can (All) Wait Behind the Wheel'

AT&T research shows 7 in 10 people engage in dangerous smartphone activities while driving. It's no longer safe to assume people are just texting from behind the wheel. They're checking email, posting to social media, snapping selfies and even video chatting and playing games like "Pokémon Go."

To drive home the message, "It Can (All) Wait," AT&T has teamed up with New York Sen. Rob Ortt, AAA Western and Central New York, New York State Parks, Niagara County Sheriff James R. Voutour, Niagara Falls Police Department Chief Bryan DalPorto, the New York State Police and the New York State Park Police to bring AT&T's nationally touring 3D virtual reality simulator to upper Terrapin Point in Niagara Falls, with the mighty cataract serving as a backdrop. This free opportunity will allow the public to experience firsthand how dangerous it is to take their eyes off the road and glance at a phone even for just two seconds.

In addition, the "It Can Wait" 3D virtual reality simulator "pit stop" raises awareness for AAA's "100 Deadliest Days for Drivers" - the period between Memorial Day and Labor Day when teen crash fatalities historically climb.

With more young and inexperienced drivers, motorcycles, farm vehicles and bicyclists on the road, as well as pedestrians, it's a reminder for teen drivers to put the phone down while driving.

Partnering law enforcement agencies will also be providing literature on the dangers of distracted driving and discuss the laws that pertain to the dangerous behavior throughout today.

Activities take place from 12:30-6:30 p.m. tomorrow on Goat Island, within Niagara Falls State Park.

People can also use Google Cardboard and their own smartphone to experience the simulation at home. To learn more, visit ItCanWait.com/VR.

The nationwide 3D virtual reality simulator tour focuses on the dangers of smartphone distractions while driving. The unique virtual reality simulator experience is part of the AT&T "It Can Wait" campaign, which urges drivers to keep their eyes on the road, not on their phones. 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.

Since its launch in 2010, the campaign has:

•Helped grow awareness of the dangers of smartphone-distracted driving to more than 90 percent of audiences surveyed;

•Inspired more than 9 million pledges to keep their eyes on the road, not on their phones;

•Worked with departments of transportation in various states on research that suggests a correlation between "It Can Wait" campaign activities and a reduction in crashes; and

•Collaborated with AT&T data scientists on research that shows how statewide anti-texting laws impact the rate of texting while driving.     

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