Oprah’s No Phone Zone Day is getting attention from state governments across the nation but most notably in Texas. The Department of Motor Vehicles in the Lone Star state has posted signs urging motorists to eliminate cell phone usage while driving.
Television personality Oprah Winfrey started the No Phone Zone Day with resounding success that shows more than a quarter million people supporting her cause. At the time of writing, 20 minutes before midnight on Friday, the pledge had attracted over 280,000 participants.
"It is my prayer that this show, this day will be a seminal day in your life. Let it be the end, the end of you using a cell phone or sending a text message when you are behind the wheel of a moving vehicle. And until we as a nation decide we're going to change that, those numbers are only going to go up," said Oprah on the air Friday.
Even after No Phone Zone Day is over, anyone can still pledge their support and promise not to call, text, or e-mail, and can sign up at www.oprah.com.
Oprah created such a stir with the No Phone Zone Day that the Texas Department Of Transportation teamed up with the Highway Traffic Safety Administration to temporarily post signs across the state urging drivers to refrain from using cell phones.
"What we're doing is using over 600 message boards located on our state highways throughout our state, to put down the cell phone, put down whatever they're using for texting and pay attention while they're driving," said Texas Department Of Motor Vehicles spokesman Val Lopez to CBS 11.
Texas Department of Transportation recorded 103,000 accidents involving cell phone use in 2008 alone. Currently, the national yearly average of accidents involving cell phones is at 500,000 and 6,000 of them have resulted in fatalities.
State laws in Texas have not been modified to eliminate cell phone usage while driving. However, warning signs were posted on Friday. Other states, such as New York, Washington, and California have banned cell phone use while driving, or require the use of a wireless headset.