April 30 is the First National No Phone Zone Day
On Friday, April 30, 2010, Oprah Winfrey and Harpo Studios are taking a stand against distracted driving and launching the first annual “No Phone Zone Day” to educate Americans to stop calling or texting on cell phones while driving.
The public service education campaign is supported by the US Department of Transportation (DOT), National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), National Organizations for Youth Safety (NOYS), FocusDriven, SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions) and RADD, the Entertainment Industry's Voice for Road Safety.
Corporate sponsors for the “No Phone Zone” campaign include Sprint, General Motors/Chevrolet and Liberty Mutual.
“A call or text isn’t worth taking a life,” says Ms. Winfrey. “We must not allow more mothers and fathers, daughters and sons, sisters and brothers to die before we take action.”
A 2008 NHTSA study indicated that at any given moment during the daylight hours, more than 800,000 vehicles are being driven by someone using a hand-held cell phone. Driving while distracted kills nearly 6,000 Americans each year
Drivers are four times less likely to get into accidents serious enough to cause injury when they turn off their cell phones while behind the wheel, according to the results of a 2005 study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety
US Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood says, "I've made it my mission at the DOT to end distracted driving. We know that if we can get people to put away cell phones and other electronic devices when they are behind the wheel, we can save thousands of lives and prevent hundreds of thousands of injuries every year. That's why I'm proud to support and participate in Oprah's 'No Phone Zone Day.'"
Friday’s Oprah Winfrey Show will present a special live episode that will coincide with several communities that are holding rallies against distracted driving. Among those featured will be Oprah partner stations WSB-TV Channel 2 in Atlanta, WCVB-TV Channel 5 in Boston, WXYZ Channel 7 in Detroit, KABC ABC7 in Los Angeles and WJLA ABC7 in Washington, D.C.
The planned rallies will bring together victims' families, elected officials, advocacy organizations, parents, youth, and law enforcement to discuss best practices and steps to limit distracted driving in their own communities.
Take the “No Phone Zone” pledge at Oprah.com. More than 160,000 people have signed, including celebrities such as Sandra Bullock, Jeff Bridges, Mo’Nique, Jerry Seinfeld, Raquel Welch, Shaun White, Lady Antebellum, Tyler Perry, and the cast of Glee.