Oprah’s ‘No Phone Zone’ campaign

oprah winfreyOprah wants her viewers to know “how absolutely stupid it is that we continue to text and drive.”

The TV talk titan devoted Monday’s show to distracted driving, with appearances by people who have lost loved ones to someone using a handheld cell phone or text messaging.

Oprah Winfrey’s Harpo Productions said the show’s effort against distracted driving would be called the “No Phone Zone” campaign. Fans are asked to pledge not to use cell phones while driving.

Update: “We need to make our own movement to stop (cell phoning and text messaging while driving),” Winfrey told her audience. “Don’t tempt fate; that text can wait.”

Those who lost love ones to accidents caused by distracted drivers made up much of the audience.

Several younger people who admitted they used wireless communications devices while driving took a road test administered by Car & Driver magazine. They reported back to Winfrey with the results.

“It’s absolutely changed my life,” said one texting and driving fan of her wobbly test performance. “I’m so lucky that nothing has happened to my children” while driving distracted, she said.

Winfrey said before the show:

“Most people think they can text and talk on the phone and they can handle it, and it’s the ‘other’ people who can’t really handle it. “So what needs to happen, I strongly believe, is that the laws need to change to put us all in check. Everybody thinks that they can handle it. But you can’t. You can’t.”

“Oprah has an ability to change the world,” said a Massachusetts man from the show. Two years ago, Jerry Cibley was talking to his son, who was driving and using a cell phone. The teen’s car slammed into a tree, killing him.



  1. The difference between cell phone use and CB Radio use while driving is simple, the CB does not have to be held against your ear therefore it does not block your view from the side. people have put millions of miles on the road while using CB’s without many if any problems, these items are NOT the same and should not be looked at the same

  2. Where is this list of things “Not To Do While Driving” for the teenagers to sign. No texting, cell phone, drinking, kissing,etc. ?????

  3. Oprah needs to get a life !!! As of 2010 trucking industry has the highest safety rating in years … and thats including cb radios,cell phones. qual-coms and whatever else the world of tech can come up with. Every year the restrictions keep getting worse for the trucking industry . Everybody wants to blame the truck driver. Outside of the children you have brought into this world… if you have it … a truck brought it to you !!! Since Oprah has extra time and money to blow … why dosen’t she give some to me and help me out !!!
    Your Friendly neighborhood truck driver

  4. Curtis Butler says:

    Something happened to me the other day. I was crossing the street the street at a crosswalk and I was almost run over by a driver having a heated discussion on his cell phone. I thank God that I was not hurt. The driver didn’t even see me and kept going. The really shocking thing about the whole ordeal is that the driver was a police officer.

  5. Karen Smith says:

    People aren’t getting…They are selfish and not thinking about others and the domino affect it has. I get so angry, because I was almost ran off the road by a woman driving and texting. I was the innocent one and I could have went over the cliff dead in the winter. I will do everythig possible to warn about the no phone law. I know Oprah will continue the PR about this most important issue. She is very powerful and CARES!


  6. Pazzie Quarels says:

    You can always tell when someone is on a cell phone. They are driving slow and if they are in front of you I would move as fast as I can. If they are in the next lane and you see them they act like they are in another world. I just pray they make it and don’t kill anyone or their self.

    The law can’t see what we see I just wish we could have the authority to send in The license number of the car and they will have to pay a fine. It is so dangers even without someone using their cell. Yes I agree.

  7. Sandy Murdock says:

    Oprah– the police NEVER do anything about this. Individual citizen action may be the best mechanism. Vigilantism would not be good. I THINK THAT IT WOULD BE GREAT IF OPRAH COULD ISSUE SIGNS THAT DRIVERS COULD HOLD UP AT INTERSECTIONS TO REMIND THE DISTRACTED DRIVER HOW DANGEROUS THEIR INATTENTION IS. She has marketing people and design people who could come up with some clever 8″ x 11″ cardboard sign with a picture of her saying something like “PLEASE off of the phone” or something. AT&T or Verizon or Nokia might pay for it and the DoT might help distribute it. Something cool from Oprah might have an impact! PLEASE

  8. Sandy Downey says:

    I’m from a small town in Colorado named Montrose and it just makes me so angry to see someone on their mobile phone while driving. So I would like to get this entire town of ours to be a part of the no phone zone. Does anyone know where to get a kit to get this started in our town please!

  9. Janice Goodnight says:

    I feel that talking on a cell phone while driving is very inconsiderate. I know of (2) different accidents that has been caused by cell phone drivers while talking or texting. Thank God that they both survived, but will they be alright? Both victims had head injuries, swelling on the brain. Both were males, one 2 years old and the other one was 19 years old.
    I just think that it ‘s ridiculous!
    You cannot concentrate on driving while in a conversation with someone on a cell phone. (Most people can’t do two things at one time).

  10. William Joseph Brown says:

    Friday march24 in lawrenceville PA a senior and his buddy were headed south on RT287 driving a sunfire small car.He got a cell phone call and pulled to the side of the road. His buddy had car trouble so he did a U-turn in front of a ford F-350.Killed my granddaughters friend and the other boy is still in real bad shape.Saturday the 28th was the senior prom. The prom was moved from the school to another location.Small town- the man driving the truck’, his wife was the local hair dresser,the boy lived across the street from the school principal.All because of a phone call.My granddaughter is still in shock as is the small town community.

  11. Chris Grieb says:

    Before we stop the general public from texting and talking while driving let’s start with local authoriites. Apparently the work has not gotten out (or is being ignored) by our local law enforcement deputies. I have witnesses….numerous times… that a deputy was talking and driving with no bluetooth device. Let’s try and be role models, people !

  12. Ron Bianco says:

    If anyone can get a grassroots movement to stop the hands free driving, it’s you Oprah.
    By getting the Auto industry to install censors in the steering wheels of the vehicles they produce, I believe that the deaths and injuries caused by not watching where the vehicle is going can be greatly reduced.
    Laws alone are not going to stop this problem. (Seat belts for example. People still refuse to buckle up! )
    By positioning censors in certain areas of the steering wheels , drivers would be required to keep both hands on the wheel while the car, or truck is in motion. Otherwise sounding a buzzard or disrupting the performance of the engine!
    I’m sure the engineers can figure out the details.
    Thank you.

  13. David Bush says:

    I commend Oprah on this effort and to promote her message recommend some lyrics from J. D. Morrison, “Keep your eyes on the road and your hands upon the wheel”.

  14. I live on Staten Island in NYC and have been bothered by drivers so busy concentrating looking down at their phone they don’t see that the light has changed.. Those driving behind us are still multi car lengths behind me when we go when the light changes, are these people stupid or what? It seems the police here do not care enough or the politicians to make a stiff fine like suspend or revoking your license if you get caught. I say Great Job Oprah and thanks for all you do for us. I saw the show on Monday the 15th and just was glad that you said what you did. Thanks again, keep pushing

  15. I think people who talk on phones while driving places other people lives in danger and the law needs to be change –
    No Phones or suspended license

  16. Im sorry linda but we the people should have a say, Oh by the way have you read the study by the insurance companys, You should read the blog. The 10 commandments were wise so You wouldnt need to worry about 7 deadly sins. Do you really think outlawing texting is going to stop people from doing it, nata.

  17. Linda Davila-Wood says:

    My bumper stickers say:
    ( Your not running the country!
    Your running your mouth! Say NO to cell phones it has a round over the cell phone and line thru it!) I know but it made sense to me: We are all important however we don’t need another distraction while driving! We are all selfish in way this takes us over the top! I tell people all the time that we don’t live by the 10 commandments we live by the 7 deadly sins!

  18. elvin acevedo says:

    yes i agree texting and cell phone should be kept out of car for me is like the person is drinking and driving. that person can’t focus.

  19. Great comments

  20. Cathy Westerman says:

    I have never texted in my car. I have a friend who’s 25 yr. old son was practically “decapitated” while texting and driving a couple of yrs. ago. It was devastating. I don’t think my friend will EVER get over it. She was on several local shows pleading with EVERYONE….don’t do it.

  21. Facebook link is right below the story, thanks Lisa.

  22. Lisa Bentley says:

    We need a link to post on facebook. If I have overlooked it please inform me.

    I haven’t lost a loved one due to a cell phone but I can testify to the crazy moves drivers make while on the phone and they don’t even realise it because they are to busy concentrating on the phone. It drives me crazy!

  23. Diana Roberts says:

    I hope that a nationwide law can be passed to ban cell phones….
    texting and talking while driving to be eliminated.
    Too many people die each year because of distracted driving.
    Send this message to your representatives/lawmakers please.

  24. Dawn Scott says:

    In response to the truck drivers comment, my husband has been long haul for over 20 years, he has over a million safe driving miles. I think the differenced between texting and a CB, you do not have to take your eyes off the road in order to talk on a CB, where you do with texting.
    I’ve been on the road with him, in some of the larger cities it is scary the truck is so big and people around do not care, do they not relize the damage one of those trucks can do?
    Dawn Scott

  25. Roger Martin says:

    While I have heard a lot about the dangers of cell phones use while driving. I have never heard anything mentioned about the dangers of citizens band radio use while driving. If cell phones are so dangerous while driving, even hands-free cell phones. Then it only stands to reason that citizens band radio use is equally as dangerous! However in the many decades that CB radios have been around I have never heard of a single accident where someone said they were distracted because they were on the CB radio. I think this inconsistency needs to be addressed.

    I am a truck driver myself I know that many truck drivers spend hours every day conversing over the CB radio,and yes I do feel that it is distracting. When it comes to legislation concerning the band of cell phone use I feel that CB radios need to be included. Not doing so would be like having a speed limit for car, but not for tractor-trailers.

    Much has been done to increase public awareness of the dangers of distracting driving CB radio use needs to be included in that list.

    In conclusion future legislation concerning the restriction or banning of cell phones use while driving ,texting while driving should also include CB radio use while driving.

  26. Mayra Benitez says:

    After watching Oprah show…I made the vow to not use my cell phone or text while driving. The calls we are making or the messages we are texting are not important…What is important are the lives of people. I have shared Oprah’s “No phone zone” campaign with my friends and family…Here’s a helpful hint…put your phone or pager in the back seat…better yet…put it in your trunk until you get to your destination safely.

  27. Hoyte Phifer says:

    Thank you Oprah for your efforts. I am 57 and at this very moment have not been sadden by a family member losing their lives because of an accident dealing with a cell phone. Mind you I say at this very moment because I realize that with each passing second that could change due to either my daughter or son (32 and 29 ) texting or talking on the phone anytime they are in the car or my wife or I talking on the phone while we are in the car. We are not texters. Thank God. But, talking… to me is just as bad as texting. I am making a very conscience effort to stop talking because I could never forgive myself for the causing an accident that is 100% preventable.

    We do need stricter law regarding cell phone usage. Oprah please push harder to stop the entire usage. I would like to help get the message out to people. I would also like to be able to show the information that was show on Oprah about what the brain can handle at one time. How it misses some things when you are talking on the phone. The brain is a wonder but it still is not capable of processing all such sensative information at one time. Please continue to push Oprah.
    Thank you for the wonderful job you continue to do.

  28. Mark Rodriguez says:

    As a father of 2 young daughters my heart goes out to those who have lost loved ones as a result of this senselessness. We live in a world where either people feel their right to “stay connected” is more important than the safety of others or else, it seems, they just don’t care. That more people are injured or killed due to cell phone use while driving than drunk driving is shows the state we are currently in …

  29. betty nosse says:

    my 38 year old daughter always called me on her way home from work. after watching oprah’s show on phoning and texting while driving i asked my daughter not to call me or anyone while she’s driving and told her about the show. i may not talk to her as often but i would rather she and all the other drivers get to where they are going as safely as possible. as for texting, common sense should tell everyone its very dangerous. please lawmakers, hurry and make phoning and texting illegal everywhere. my grandsons will be driving soon. this should have been passed years ago.

  30. Pat Worthington says:

    Thank you, Oprah, for again making America aware of a danger or an important issue. I rarely use my cell phone as it is, but as of today I will never answer it while driving. It seems like such a common sense thing and yet just drive anywhere and everyone around you is texting to talking. How can there be that much “important” informantion out there?

  31. PLEASE …. I pray to God…..that our Federal government will in this instance ….(do you hear me, President Obama?) override the states of our country…. declare once and for ALL ….no cell phones…no texting…no faxing…no electronics of any type for drivers on the roads. It’s understood that the police – and emergency workers need their communications…. but please…. ‘

    Have any of you ever been in an accident and been hurt ? I was….injured – and my husband when a young driver spun out and came at us sideways in our lane of traffic. It isn’t a nice thing to hear your bones and body breaking inside….and thinking you are going to die. Never to see your children and grandchildren again. But the Lord spared us.

    PLEEEEEEEZ—- stop the nonsense.

  32. Florida needs to pass a no talk and drive law as well. Too many lives have been lost, too much heartache – I pray this cell phone tragedy comes to an end.
    A Parent

  33. Catherine Scott says:

    I am a single mom. My son Taylor, 12 years old, is my only child. Feb. 3 of 2007 was a blistery day. The snow was blowing with ice on the Hwy. My son’s school was returning home from a basketball tournament. Our driver was driving a van and it started to slide and slid into the other lane when an oncoming SUV hit the vehicle my son was in. Taylor and his teammate died instantly. The woman in the SUV was on a cell phone. The truth is that it was my son’s time, but the fact that the other driver was on a cell phone in that weather is so wrong. To those that think texting and cell phone use is acceptable while driving, think again. You really don’t want to be in the club of mothers and fathers that lose their children due to ignorance of cell phone use. Anyone that loses their life due to this habit is in a club of their own. So think twice. Leave your ego on the curb along with that phone!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  34. I think her efforts are a wonderful thing to do. My family has been affected and a victim by someone talking on their cell phone while driving. My son and his wife almost lost their lives due to someone talking on the cell phone while driving. My daughter-in-law is now disabled as a result of it. We are forming an organization to raise awareness and help better educate people of the dangers of distracted driving such as cell phone use and many more. If there is anything we can do to help and become more involved please email me.

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