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April 14, 2010 > National 'No Phone Zone Day'

National 'No Phone Zone Day'

Submitted By Don Halcombe

Some of the country's pre-eminent transportation safety organizations have joined forces to declare Friday, April 30 the first national "No Phone Zone Day." A large-scale effort to honor victims of distracted-driving, "No Phone Zone Day" will also educate and prompt Americans to end the deadly driving habits that kill nearly 6,000 Americans annually, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The announcement was made on April 6 by chat-show host Oprah Winfrey

"A call or text isn't worth taking a life," said Winfrey. "We mustn't allow more mothers and fathers, daughters and sons, sisters and brothers to die before we take action against distracted-driving. Let's put a stop to it now, by joining together on April 30 for national 'No Phone Zone Day', and by making our cars a 'No Phone Zone.'"

"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 behind the wheel, we can save thousands of lives and prevent hundreds of thousands of injuries annually," said US Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood.

Communities will mobilize to take action at "No Phone Zone Day" rallies in Atlanta, Boston, Detroit, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. The 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. In addition, a new "No Phone Zone" public service announcement campaign will be launched.

A working coalition of transportation-safety organizations will come together as part of "No Phone Zone Day" activities and rallies across the country, including US Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood and the Department of Transportation, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), the National Organizations for Youth Safety (NOYS), FocusDriven, SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions), RADD, the Entertainment Industry's Voice for Road Safety, and more.

In addition, "No Phone Zone" corporate partners Sprint, General Motors/Chevrolet and Liberty Mutual will lend their support, both for national "No Phone Zone Day" and in the coming months to spread the "No Phone Zone" message.

As a national call to action, Oprah Winfrey asks everyone to take the "No Phone Zone" pledge. By pledging, drivers agree to make their car a "No Phone Zone" and refrain from using their phone while driving, eliminating distractions from incoming calls, texts or emails. More than 160,000 people to date have signed the celebrity's "No Phone Zone" pledge at www.Oprah.com. Many other celebrities have already lent their support.

A 2008 NHTSA study indicated that at any given moment during daylight hours, more than 800,000 drivers are using a hand-held cell phone. According to a 2005 Insurance Institute for Highway Safety study, drivers are four times less likely to have accidents that cause injury if their cell phones are off while at the wheel.

For more information on "No Phone Zone Day," and to take the No Phone Zone pledge, visit www.oprah.com/nophonezone. For information on distracted-driving, visit www.distraction.gov.

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