It Can Wait

Rebecca Kelley

Fri April 25, 2014 12:43pm

One out of every four residents in Chula Vista is under the age of 18. Ninety percent of American adults have a cell phone and 58% have a smartphone. Each day in the United States, more than nine people are killed and more than 1,060 people are injured in crashes that are reported to involve a distracted driver. At the local helm of addressing this prevalent issue is Rolling Hills Ranch resident Ignacio De La Torre. Ignacio is the regional vice president for AT&T’s external affairs.
“AT&T’s It Can Wait movement is meant to save lives by bringing attention to the dangers of texting while driving. AT&T spearheaded this national movement five years ago to build public awareness of the dangers of texting while driving; our message is simple and powerful: no text is worth dying for. Individuals who text while driving are 23 times more likely to be involved in an accident. And 75 percent of teens surveyed said texting while driving is “common” among their friends and parents. We have employees whose families have been impacted by distracted driving. I am proud to note that employees who reside in Chula Vista have worked with groups such as the Chula Vista Police Department, South Bay Family YMCA, Sweetwater Union High School District, Southwestern College and the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department to highlight to students and adults the dangers and consequences of texting while driving.” Ignacio has been with AT&T for 25 years, beginning in Pasadena as an engineer.
Ignacio and his family moved to Chula Vista in 2001. “When we moved to San Diego County from Los Angeles, we wanted to live in a community that offered diversity at many levels — ethnic, cultural, economic and age. We also wanted an area with strong performing schools. We found that in Chula Vista. The city offers strong school districts, plenty of shopping and dining opportunities and, with the proposed bayfront development, the city will have world-class amenities.”
“We enjoy spending time as a family. Whether it’s stand-up paddle boarding in the Chula Vista harbor or walking our dogs at Veterans Park, quality time together is paramount. Most of South Bay sees me at Home Depot and Costco. I tell my wife that if it’s not at Costco, I won’t buy it.” Ignacio is a father to two girls. A fun fact about Ignacio that most might not know is that he greatly enjoys working on bonsai.
While Smokey Bear might say, “Only you can prevent forest fires,” Ignacio De La Torre says, “Take it from the telecommunications guy. It can wait. Your life (and others’ lives) is more important than answering a text message.”
For more information on how you can make the pledge and join the It Can Wait campaign, visit www.itcanwait.com.
Rebecca Kelley is South County regional director of marketing, media and community relations at South Bay YMCA.