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Oprah Kicks Off No Phone Zone Campaign

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By Kamika Dunlap on May 05, 2010 11:05 AM

Talk show queen Oprah Winfrey recently kicked off national "No Phone Zone" campaign to help prevent distracted driving deaths.

She is urging people to take the no phone zone pledge to stop texting and driving, ABC news reports. The campaign was kicked off during "The Oprah Winfrey Show" last Friday.

The live show included Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm who signed the state's texting-while-driving ban into law during the live broadcast. National No Phone Zone Day also was marked with several rallies held in five major cities, a public service announcement and messages on billboards and social media.

The talk show host organized an online pledge that she has asked motorists to sign. A list of more than 60 celebrities such as Sandra Bullock, Tina Fey, Shaun White, Morgan Freeman, Sir Elton John, Jerry Seinfeld, the cast of TV's Glee, country music's Lady Antebellum and Queen Rania of Jordan have agreed to sign up and stop using their cell phones behind the wheel.

So far, more than 300,000 people have made the no phone zone pledge.

U.S. transportation secretary Ray LaHood, who recently helped spur legislation to ban bus and commercial truck drivers from texting while driving, also supports Oprah's initiative.

Oprah has joined forces with several public and private transportation safety groups. As part of the no phone zone campaign she has been featuring the tragic stories of people who have lost their lives texting while driving.

Officials said that every year, about 6,000 people are killed and 500,000 injured because of distracted driving.

In addition, studies have found that drivers who use their cell phones for talking or texting have much slower response times than those who do not. They also have slower reaction times than people with blood alcohol levels of 0.08.