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BATON ROUGE, LA. -- The Louisiana Sheriffs' Association, Louisiana State Police, Louisiana Chiefs Association, and the Louisiana Public Service Commissioner, Eric Skrmetta, are encouraging Louisianans to take the It Can Wait Pledge to never text and drive.

In 2008, Louisiana was one of the first states in the country to ban texting while driving. On August 1, a new law became effective banning the use of social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram while driving. Sheriff's and other public safety officials across Louisiana are working to ensure that drivers understand the laws of the state, use wireless devices safely and drive safely on the roads.

Residents can sign up at to get resources that will help them share their commitment on social media and personalize the movement on the streets of their communities. In an effort to create a social stigma around this dangerous habit of texting while driving, Drive 4 Pledges Day focuses on getting people involved in taking the pledge to never text and drive, while encouraging others in their community to do the same.

On September 19, Drive 4 Pledges Day, supporters of the movement are asked to help spread the word to their families, friends and communities. Residents are encouraged to change their social profile photos and cover photos to It Can Wait graphics, and share their personal pledge stories using the hashtag #ItCanWait. Other ways to get the word out include hosting pledge drives and handing out posters in schools, workplaces and neighborhoods. All social media graphics and posters are available from

To make driving and cell phone use experiences a little safer, law enforcement officials suggest the following safety tips:

Obey the law. Don't text or use social media while you're behind the wheel.

Before you get behind the wheel, get to know your phone's features, such as speed dial and redial. Use a hands free device when possible.

Assess the traffic and dial sensibly. Ask your passenger to dial for you, or make calls when you are not moving.

Never read or write while the car is moving. If you must write a note or take down a phone number during a conversation, PULL OVER!

Be careful when pulling over to place calls. To avoid being a crime victim, don't stop in dangerous areas and keep your car doors locked.

Position your phone within easy reach or let your voice mail answer rather than taking your eyes off the road to look for the phone.

Let the person you are speaking to know you are driving.

Do not engage in emotional conversations as you will be focused primarily on the call rather than your driving.

Dial 911 to report an emergency-it's free from your wireless phone.

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