News Release “It Can Wait” Music Video Released Highlighting the Dangers of Texting and Driving
September 29, 2011
Almost 5,500 people are killed each year due to distracted driving, and the problem is getting worse. Young, inexperienced drivers have the highest proportion of distraction-related fatal crashes. Their lack of driving experience can contribute to critical misjudgments if they become distracted. Not surprisingly, teens text more than any other age group and the numbers of young drivers who text is only increasing.
In response to this crisis, Partners for Safe Teen Driving (PFSTD) is conducting a statewide campaign to address this problem and will release a music video, send campaign posters to all Virginia high schools, and erect highway billboards in 40 locations. All of this will happen in conjunction with National Teen Driver Safety Week from October 16 to 22.
A main feature of this campaign is the release of a music video, “It Can Wait” by American Idol-finalist Travis Tucker, who is a math teacher at Freedom High School in Prince William County. The music video lets teen drivers know that a call or text can wait. With more portable technology now than ever, driver distractions have risen to unprecedented numbers. Teens (and adults) often expect instant, real-time communication 24 hours-a-day and those desires do not stop just because they get behind the wheel. Many drivers don’t know that taking their eyes and minds off the road and their hands off the wheel to text or talk on the phone is more dangerous than drinking and driving. The music video shows the deadly consequences of distracted driving.
Virginia law prohibits teens from using their cell phones to talk or text while driving. However, teens haven’t yet gotten the message that “It Can Wait.” For the release of the video, teens will be encouraged to use Facebook, You Tube, Twitter and other social media to pass this message along to their friends.
Driver education coordinators and teachers across the state will encourage students to distribute the video and help deliver the message to their friends about the dangers of texting and driving. Posters and other materials will be sent to each classroom that further reinforces the message. Lamar Advertising, a PFSTD business partner, will be placing 40 billboards across the state in support of the effort.
The Prince William County police and fire departments played a key role in the making of the music video by setting up an accident scene at the Public Safety Training Center in Nokesville. In the video, police and fire personnel also remind teen drivers that “it can wait.”
PFSTD program is a community health initiative designed to educate parents about what they can do to better prepare their teenagers for driving. It is a partnership between the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles, Virginia Department of Education, Virginia State Police, Lamar Advertising and Prince William County Public Schools.
Singer/Pianist - Travis Tucker
Saxophonist - Charlie DiPuma
Driver - Walid Chaya
Girlfriend - Kelsey Davis
Friend - Jason Gardner
Lyrics - Travis Tucker
Music/Composition - Travis Tucker, John Hall
Studio Piano - John Hall
Studio Saxophone - Nick Henry
Studio Engineer - Nick Henry
Prince William County Department of Fire and Rescue
Prince William County Police Department
Prince William County Schools Production Crew
Producer - Ben Swecker
Director - Mike Davis
Director - Joe Long
Director/Writer/Editor - Sam Altman
Writer - Matt Fox
Camera – Sam Altman and Mike Davis
Engineer - Bart Young
Distribution - Deanna McAllister
Production Assistants - Anita Biroonak and Gabrielle Altman