Oprah: April 30 'No Phone Zone Day'

April 29, 2010 (CHICAGO)

'No Phone Zone Day' is Oprah Winfrey's national safety campaign on this dangerous habit. We went out to see what's being done locally to discourage dangerous driving habits.

How often do you see people talking on the phone, drinking coffee, eating, and now texting while driving? These dangerous habits can turn deadly, and that's why Oprah has made April 30 national 'No Phone Zone Day.'

"One of the things I realized as a young reporter that I'd done many stories on drunk driving and you had to have a story where many people were killed or children were killed before people would pay attention to it or it would be headline news. Here is something we can solve now. Nobody has to die because somebody is on a phone," said Oprah.

Oprah is asking drivers to take the pledge and make their cars a 'no phone zone' - only hands free devices and no texting while driving.

"I was one of them that was doing it, so I guess I'd say I was guilty of it. But now I'm not because I'm more aware of my calls and I don't text period while I drive. And I also took Oprah's vow," said James Teague, Chicago-area driver.

"Do I ever? I'm not gonna say never, but I do avoid it," said Kathie Gibson, Chicago-area driver.

While not everyone we spoke with admitted to practicing distracted driving behaviors, they all agreed that these behaviors are extremely dangerous.

"I think there're so many situations. I've been on the road seeing people texting, looking down, not paying attention, close calls," said David Crawford, Chicago-area driver.

"I'm really scared of drivers that have a cell phone up to their ear and are texting, I mean it's really scary," said Mimi Damrauer, Chicago-area driver.

More than 200,000 motorists and dozens of celebrities have signed the pledge. Every driver we spoke with did as well.

"Absolutely. Anything for Oprah," said Michael Lamb when asked to sign Oprah's pledge.

The Oprah Show on 'no phone zones' and distracted driving airs Friday, April 30 at 9 a.m. on ABC7.

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