Home > Etiquette, Lifestyle, National News, Real World, Transportation > Oprah Proclaims National No Phone Zone Day in Movement Against Distracted Driving

Oprah Proclaims National No Phone Zone Day in Movement Against Distracted Driving

by Ashley Tedesco, blog editor

Today has been proclaimed National No Phone Zone Day by Oprah Winfrey, and if anyone can make something a national movement, we all know it’s Oprah. She has been spearheading a movement against distracted driving by encouraging everyone to make their automobiles “no phone zones,” discouraging any use of cell phones while driving–texting and talking, hands-free or otherwise.

“My biggest hope for the No Phone Zone campaign is that it becomes mandatory that no one uses their phone in the car or texts while driving — just as seat belts are mandatory, just as driving while drunk is considered absolutely taboo,” Oprah said in a statement quoted in the New York Times.

Unfortunately, citing the hesitation of viewers to go cold-turkey, the No Phone Zone pledge was changed by Harpo Productions to include the allowance of hands-free devices. The National Safety Council will therefore not to support the pledge, believing that even hands-free cell phone use is distracting and extraordinarily dangerous.

Currently, no states have a full ban on cell phones, though many enforce laws against handheld phones and texting while driving. Though totally cell phone-free roadways are ideal, smaller steps are important too. On the other hand, while the movement against cell phones in itself is a huge step and very important, it’s not the only culprit for distracted driving. Many motorists also eat, drink, read newspapers, try to search through handbags or calm children in back seats while driving–actions much harder to regulate by law enforcement authorities.

As we move into the academic summer and disperse across the country, it’s important to know the laws in each respective state. Learn more on on the Governors’ Highway Safety Association Web site. When it comes to cell phones and driving however, abstinence-only really should be the only way to go.

The movement against distracted driving is one close to the hearts of the Observer family after losing our news editor, Casey Feldman, to distracted driving in July. Please, take Oprah’s No Phone Zone pledge here and drive safely!

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  1. April 2, 2011 at 8:07 am

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