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Sabres team with AT&T for student texting pledge

Photo from “It Can Wait” Webpage

Some Buffalo area high schools are being encouraged to sign up for a national program to prevent texting and driving. AT&T has teamed up with the Buffalo Sabres and team captain Steve Ott for the "It Can Wait" program.

Ott appears in a 30-second YouTube video encouraging drivers, especially teens, to avoid texting while driving. http://youtu.be/zyfNpPLHBs4

High school students in the Buffalo region are urged to go online to www.whyipledge.com/buffalo. They fill out a pledge form not to text and drive in their lifetime.

Schools with a hockey program have a chance at winning with the most pledges. The winning school will have a chance to meet Ott and the school's hockey team will hold a practice at First Niagara Center in downtown Buffalo hosted by Ott.

"Not only can the students take the pledge, but also we are encouraging them to take action themselves to get their friends, family members, their neighbors to also go to the website. If they do, those pledges count towards the contest. The school that has the most pledges will win," said Kevin Hanna, external affairs director for AT&T.

More than 30 schools are eligible to participate. The schools are located within a 30-mile radius of Buffalo:

Buffalo, NY - High Schools

Bennett High School

Bishop Timon-Saint Jude High School

Buffalo Seminary School

Burgard Vocational High School

Canisius High School

East High School

Emerson Of Hospitality School

Grover Cleveland High School

Hutchinson Central Technical High School

Kenmore West Senior High School

Lafayette High School

Leonardo Da Vinci High School

Mckinley Vocational High School

Mount Mercy Academy School

Nardin Academy High School

Riverside Institute Of Technology School

Saint Joseph's Collegiate Institute School

South Park High School

Western New York Maritime Charter School

West Seneca East High

West Seneca West High

Lackawana High

Cheektowaga High

Cleveland Hill High School

John F Kennedy Senior High

Maryvale High School

Lancaster High School

Williamsville North

Williamsville South

Orchard Park High

St. Francis High School

Erie 1 Boces

The contest kicked off on Sunday at ends January 31.  The winning high school will be selected in February. AT&T started the It Can Wait campaign in 2009 realizing the deadly combination of texting and driving.

"Every year, more than 100,000 accidents due to texting while driving. That's 275 accidents a day. Some of those accidents are fatal," stated Hanna. 

The campaign is designed to attract the first full generation growing up with smart phones in their hands while operating a vehicle.