The No Phone Zone gains with Oprah's support

May 2, 12:55 PM · Michael Santo - San Jose Technology Examiner
On Friday, April 30th, Oprah brought her "No Phone Zone" campaign to her show. The campaign is all about a contentious subject, and an unpopular one with young adults: banning texting while driving.

Oprah's "No Phone Zone" campaign has the support of other celebrities, such as Nicole Richie and Paula Abdul. The support of such celebrities is bound to help, but it's sad that common sense isn't enough to dissuade drivers from texting while driving.

The effort is supported by the U.S. Department of Transportation, the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, FocusDriven, a non-profit group combating the problem, and SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions). GHSA spokesman Jonathan Adkins said:
"There's no better or more powerful ally than Oprah. She has the potential to be the MADD (Mother Against Drunk Driving) for texting and distracted driving. When Oprah speaks, people listen. In this case, when Oprah speaks, we expect people to put down the phone while driving."
While a majority of states still have no ban on texting while driving, the federal government earlier banned texting on handheld devices while driving for bus drivers and commercial truckers. Meanwhile, since January of this year, five states have enacted total bans on texting while driving. Despite that, however, those states are in the minority; only 24 states and Washington, D.C., have such bans.

Oprah's site has an interactive map updated in real-time as people sign a pledge against texting while driving. The "severity" of the pledge ranges from no texting to no texting and only hands-free calling, to no texting and no calling while driving at all.

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