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Oprah Promotes Distracted Driving Campaign

Popular Chicago-based talk show host Oprah Winfrey is lending her considerable influence to the fight against texting or talking on the phone while driving. She devoted a recent show to the subject.

A press release to fans on her web site starts off with statistics and then gets into personal stories of families impacted by texting-related tragedies, in the style of her long-running show (Oprah.com). 

Here's a vignette from the show narrated by a woman whose mother was killed by a 20-year-old driver who ran a red light while talking on his cell phone:

 

You can watch the entire show here.

The online press release states that 71 percent of drivers between the ages of 18 and 49 admit to texting or talking on the phone while driving. That's an eye-opening contrast to the more than 90 percent of drivers surveyed who say stricter penalties are needed for curbing distracted driving accidents.

Winfrey's show on distracted driving was part of a larger campaign called "Oprah's No Phone Zone," which encourages people to sign the following online petition:

I pledge to make my car a No Phone Zone. Beginning right now,  I will do my part to help put an end to distracted driving by not texting or using my phone while I am driving.  I will ask other drivers I know to do the same.  I pledge to make a difference.

When Oprah talks, people listen. So maybe her uncanny ability to reach millions of Americans on important topics will do us all some good.