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What 'No Phone Zone Day' Means to Me

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Kate Meyers: To honor those who have lost loved ones to distracted-driving accidents, Oprah Winfrey and America's premier transportation and safety organizations have teamed up to declare today, April 30th, "No Phone Zone Day."

oprah winfrey

We all know that using our cell phones while driving is dangerous, but we need to start thinking of it as a life-threatening, because that's what it is. Deadly driving habits kill nearly 6,000 Americans a year. Thank you, Oprah, for yet another eye-opening revelation.
As a mom, I don't want to spend one second thinking about how it would feel if one of my daughters were part of this statistic, but that's exactly why I should. Is there any multitasking need in the world so urgent that it's worth a life?

I will use this day to speak with my girls -- especially my oldest, who is awaiting her learner's permit -- about the responsibility we have when we drive. What if someone hit them or a friend of theirs? How would that make them feel? I may even invoke executive privilege and ban texting and calling in the car altogether. (I know -- good luck to me.)

But wouldn't it be nice if we all got in the habit of NOT using devices in the car, and instead actually communicated with each another? I am constantly chiding my kids, "If you're there (meaning texting), then you're missing the life that's going on here." A life that "No Phone Zone Day" reminds us we are all so lucky to have.


next: 12 'Lessons' We Learned from Rielle Hunter on 'Oprah'
4 comments so far | Post a comment now
Anon April 30, 2010, 3:53 PM

Oprah should tell Sheri Shepard (The View) whose admitted to texting while driving.

Dee Abogado April 30, 2010, 5:00 PM

The cell phone debate is all about the art of distraction. We’re dancing around the real problem like two boxers afraid to actually fight. The problem isn’t cell phones, or drinking, or the radio, or putting on lipstick. The problem is bad driving.

Making a law forces people to look out for cops… not the other cars surrounding them. Instead of watching the road, they’re playing Where’s Waldo with law enforcement. It’s not going to reduce accidents, or prevent people who are pushed into hard choices about the minutes passing in their lives.

We act like it’s the new seatbelt law, because we all remember how much of a difference seatbelts have made. But seatbelts prevent fatalities in accidents that were already statistically going to happen. Cell phones only cause accidents for people who fail to pay attention to the road.

On average, over 800,000 Americans are driving and using a cell phone at any given moment (suggesting this is one of their primary uses!). 6,000 people died from it over the entire year. To look at it another way, you would have to drive around with a phone strapped to your ear, non-stop, 24 hours a day, for 66 YEARS to have a 50% chance of dying (or killing someone) in a cell-phone car accident. You’re more likely to die from standing in the sunshine, but we’re smart enough to not make a law about it, or arrest people for not using sunscreen.

As citizens and drivers, we need to wake up to the impact of poor judgment and alarmist legislation. We need to do some research before shouting “there ought to be a law” or the world beyond our doorstep won’t be worth visiting.

Anon May 1, 2010, 5:32 PM

Blah, Blah, Blah. Just don’t do it.

tabletki na pryszcze April 3, 2011, 7:33 AM

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