‘Death by Cell Phone’ campaign

billboard for cell phone ban

The National Safety Council is following up on its sobering “Death by Cell Phone” video by placing roadside billboards in 67 markets nationwide. The campaign’s message will reach more than 1 million drivers, the NSC predicts.

The campaign tells of two deaths linked to cell phone-using drivers: Joe, a 12-year-old from Michigan and Linda, a 61-year-old from Oklahoma. The “Death by Cell Phone” billboards show pictures of the two victims of distracted driving, and give the URL for the 5-minute video.

The father of Joe and the daughter of Linda speak of their families’ tragedies and make pleas for the banning of cell phone use while driving.

The name of the campaign comes from Linda’s daughter Jennifer Smith, who says of her loss: “I just call it death by cell phone.”

Earlier this year, the National Safety Council made news by calling for a total ban on cell phone use by U.S. drivers. (continued)

The NSC cites the following annual statistics:

  • Cell phone use is involved in 6 percent of crashes.
  • Cell phones are a factor in 636,000 accidents a year.
  • 12,000 serious injuries result from talking while driving.
  • 2,600 fatalities can be linked to cell phone use by motorists.

Nationwide Insurance and Lamar Advertising are sponsors of the cell phone safety campaign.


  1. Mark Davidson says:

    I have not lost anybody I know to death by cell phone, but as I drive for work, I find people on their phones all the time. Here in CA we have new “hands free” and texting laws, but only a $20 fine. My work partner and I, in a 30 minute span, counted 28 cell phone users driving the streets of Sacramento. That is with the laws in place. I am working on a plan to help law enforcement with enforcing these laws. I don’t want to have anybody in my family be a victim of such a stupid thing as texting or cell phone use.

  2. Raymond says:

    Personally, I would love to see them make the penalties for driving and talking on a cell phone the same as for drunk driving. If you kill someone because of your need to be driving and flapping your lips, it is no different than if you were driving drunk…..someone is dead because of choices you made. I don’t believe in double standards…so lets get these people off our streets and highways!

  3. When I wait at a red light, I cannot believe the number of drivers passing by chatting away on their cell phones. I have witnessed quite a few drivers lose control of their vehicle while talking on the phone. I find myself constantly saying, “Hang up and drive!” It has become clear to me that most people cannot multitask driving while talking on the cell phone and are quite simply hazards to themselves, their passengers, and others using the road.

    We all lived before cell phones. Unless it is a matter of life or death, I think that call can wait until you stop driving.

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