Oprah Winfrey has officially partnered with the Governors Highway Safety Association and handful of other agencies to help put a stop to distracted driving. The famed talk-show host will be heading up a special live show this Friday designed to highlight the dangers of driving and cell phone use. Winfrey will be interviewing the families of victims of distracted driving collisions and government officials. She'll also be announcing a new awareness campaign called "No Phone Zone" that urges drivers to leave their mobile devices alone when behind the wheel.

The Oprah Winfrey Show will also host viewing rallies all over the country in cities like Atlanta, Detroit and Los Angeles to help spread the word. Don't expect this to be the last good deed Winfrey tackles, either. The host will be taking on a number of other issues in an upcoming sponsored public service announcement segment. Check your local listings for details and hop the jump for the press release.

[Source: Governors Highway Safety Association]


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State Highway Safety Agencies Supporting Oprah's No Phone Zone Day Drivers Urged to Make Commitment to Hang Up and Drive

WASHINGTON, DC -- The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) and its member State Highway Safety Agencies are joining forces with Oprah Winfrey and Harpo Studios to fight distracted driving during "No Phone Zone Day" on Friday April 30, 2010. Affiliates nationwide will air a special live episode of "The Oprah Winfrey Show" devoted to dangers associated with cell phone use and texting while driving. Special viewing rallies will be held in Atlanta, Boston, Detroit, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C., bringing 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, the "Oprah" show will debut a new sponsored public service announcement campaign.

All participants and viewers will be asked to pledge to make their cars a "No Phone Zone." GHSA's State Highway Safety Office members are participating in the viewing rallies and other community mobilization activities. GHSA is encouraging all states to spread the word through news releases, community events, and through social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter. States with distracted driving laws may use the day to draw attention to the legislation. Currently, 23 states and Washington, D.C. have texting laws.

(For a full list, visit www.ghsa.org/html/stateinfo/laws/cellphone_laws.html). GHSA Chairman Vernon Betkey has personally taken the "No Phone Zone" pledge and will participate in the Washington D.C. rally. He notes that "GHSA has always supported a multifaceted approach to combating distracted driving. While state legislation and enforcement are both critical factors, education efforts are also important-and what better person to raise public awareness than Oprah Winfrey? As a society, we need to make cell phone use while driving as unacceptable as drunk driving. We are very grateful to Harpo and Ms. Winfrey for their leadership and commitment." Also supporting Oprah's "No Phone Zone Day" are: the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), National Organizations for Youth Safety (NOYS), FocusDriven, SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions) and RADD - the Entertainment Industry's Voice for Road Safety.