Oprah Winfrey has organized a petition on a web site (copy the following into the URL line in your browser - I STILL can't make this hyperlink thing work, and apparently neither can anybody else: www.oprah.com/packages/no-phone-zone.html) teaming up with Progressive Insurance in the US, the same people who are sponsoring the X Prize 100 mile per gallon car project.
The web site gives visitors three options:
- I will not text while I am driving
- I will not text while driving and will use only handsfree calling if I need to speak on the phone while I am driving
- I will not text or use my phone while I am driving. If I need to use my phone, I will pull over to the side of the road
Visitors can pick one choice only, then enter an e-mail address to ‘sign the pledge’.
Option 2 of course ignores the proven reality that there is no safety difference between hands-free and hand-held calling, just as the Ontario government and our police forces do.
As I look at her site, 121,673 people have taken the pledge. That's up by 164 in about an hour.
Oprah has proven to be very influential when it comes to book sales. Will she have any effect on cell phone use and hence on traffic safety?
Not sure how we’d even measure it.
But I guess we’ll take anything we can get.