HARRISBURG, Pa., October 14, 2016 –The Pennsylvania NewsMedia Association (PNA), the PNA Foundation, Pennsylvania’s newspapers, and AT&T are joining together for the third-consecutive year to host an “It Can Wait” editorial contest to raise awareness about the dangers of distracted driving.
While 95 percent of drivers disapprove of distracted driving, more than 431,000 vehicle crashes a year are caused by it, often involving injuries and death. Despite knowing the risks, seven in ten drivers engage in smart phone activity while driving, and four in ten teens admit to social networking while driving.
However, there is an opportunity to change behavior: 78 percent of teen drivers say they are likely not to text and drive if friends tell them it is wrong, and 82 percent of drivers who have taken action to stop texting while driving feel good about themselves.
The 2017 “It Can Wait” contest launched on Oct. 3 and is open to all Pennsylvania high school students. The PNA and PNA Foundation encourage members to sponsor editorial contests offering a monetary or other prize, to encourage high school students to write a column or editorial answering the question, “Why is it important to take the ‘It Can Wait’ pledge to keep your eyes on the road, not on your phone?”
Winners of the local contests will be submitted to the PNA in consideration for the statewide prize of $500. Entries may also be submitted to email@example.com by Feb. 10, 2017. The PNA will announce the winning statewide entry during the week of March 6, 2017, and the award will be presented at a luncheon during America East on April 12, 2017, at the Hershey Lodge.
For contest materials and rules, please visit http://panewsmedia.org/Events/it-can-wait-campaign.
“It Can Wait” is a national movement urging drivers to visit www.ItCanWait.com, where they can pledge to keep their eyes on the road, not on their phones, and share their pledges via Twitter (#ItCanWait) and Facebook. Since its launch in 2010, the campaign has helped increase awareness of the dangers of texting while driving to about 90 percent for all audiences surveyed and inspired more than 11.3 million pledges not to text and drive.
About PNA: The PNA, founded in 1925, is the nonprofit trade association for print and digital media in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Its mission is to advance the business interests of Pennsylvania news media organizations and to promote a free and independent press. It has more than 300 newspaper and media members, including daily, weekly, and college newspapers and online publications.