In addition, texting and distracted driving will be key topics at Evergreen Safety Council's Washington Traffic Safety Conference on May 20th in Burien.
National Organizations for Youth Safety (NOYS) hosts the annual National Youth Traffic Safety Month (NYTSM) campaign held each May during prom, graduation, and the beginning of the summer driving season. The 2010 NYTSM focus is distracted driving prevention encouraging all youth to pledge not to use their phone while driving. "The mix of inexperienced drivers with phone use while driving is a deadly combination" said NOYS executive director Sandy Spavone. "NOYS youth leaders and coalition members working with Oprah's 'No Phone Zone Day' to prevent crashes caused by inattentive drivers is the perfect kick off to a month of activities led by youth for youth to address distracted driving. We encourage everyone to take the pledge."
This Friday April 30th, "The Oprah Winfrey Show" will present a special live episode devoted to ending distracted driving. In conjunction with the episode, Harpo Studios is mobilizing communities to take action at "No Phone Zone Day" viewing rallies to be held in Atlanta, Boston, Detroit, Los Angeles. The planned 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.
As part of the "No Phone Zone Day," NOYS encourages all youth to take the "No Phone Zone" pledge and ask every driver in their family to take the pledge as well. By signing Oprah's No Phone Zone pledge, drivers agree to make their car a "No Phone Zone" in one of the following ways:
- by not using their phones at all while driving,
- by agreeing to stop texting and use only hands-free calling, or
- by just not texting while they drive.
Studies show it's safest to not use your phone at all while driving. More than 185,000 people to date have signed Oprah's "No Phone Zone" pledge at Oprah.com. Many celebrities have already joined the cause, including Oscar® winners Sandra Bullock, Jeff Bridges and Mo'Nique, comedian Jerry Seinfeld, actress and icon Raquel Welch, Olympic superstar Shaun White, country music's Lady Antebellum, entertainer and entrepreneur Tyler Perry, the cast of TV's "Glee" and many more.
A 2008 NHTSA study indicated that at any given moment during the daylight hours, more than 800,000 vehicles are being driven by someone using a hand-held cell phone. According to a 2005 study for the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, drivers are four times less likely to get into accidents serious enough to cause injury when they turn off their cell phones while behind the wheel.For more information on "No Phone Zone Day," and to take the No Phone Zone pledge, please visit www.oprah.com/nophonezone.
For additional information on distracted driving, visit www.distraction.gov
To learn what you can do to improve traffic safety in Washington, plan on attending the Washington Traffic Safety Conference on May 20th in Burien.