Google Maps No Phone Zones for Oprah

Google Maps API Used for Highway Safety Pledges

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Google announced today that has provided mapping (via the Google Maps API) for a couple of highway safety initiatives around the use of cell phones in vehicles.

The first such initiative is Oprah’s "No Phone Zone", which lets users make a pledge under three different options: no texting, no texting plus handsfree calling only, and no phone use at all while driving. These pledges are then mapped in near real-time using the API, so others can see where and when these pledges were made.

Google Maps No Phone Zones

The second initiative is about educating people about state policies related to phone use on the road. There is another map in which users can click on a state to see restrictions on texting, handsfree, and handheld phone use. Users can then click through for more details from the Governors Highway Safety Association, or even contact a state Governor’s office directly.

view policies on phone use

"Mobile communication has revolutionized the way we live, but unfortunately, irresponsible use has also made the roads more dangerous," says . "In 2008, nearly 6000 people lost their lives in the US and more than half a million people were injured in police-reported crashes during which some form of driver distraction was reported — and according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, cell phone use was a major contributor to that."

I’ll go out on a limb and say Google does not want you to view these maps on your phone while you’re driving. Oprah’s site has more info about the No Phone Zone initiative.

Google Maps No Phone Zones for Oprah
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  • http://alien-dolls.com SadieJane

    I totally agree with the no cell phone / no texting while driving rule. Always have.
    But I still see it occurring in half the vehicles around me, where ever I go.

    I blame poor attitude by all people, accepting this practice as okay, plus non-enforced law.

    Since Google and government have many strong relationships,
    I see this Google map as small portion of gov data collection.
    Big Brother will be able to track and log which cell signals were traveling, not stationary.

    I would not be surprised if, in the near future, cell phone data is routinely used to
    generate police traffic violations, to collect fees, with forms delivered by mail.
    More cost effective than traffic stops.

    Yes, I know, you could have been the car passenger … but your car and your phone,
    so it will always be case of guilty until proven innocent.

  • madwayne

    With todays technology you would think that phones could have had built in a function that does the following:

    1. at speed X which is greater than speed Y, speed y being the avaerage walking speed of a mobile phone user the phone becomes unfucntionable.

    The issue would be then as a passenger the phone wouldnt work, unles youhave it built into the car that the phone within x distance from thedrivers seat activates the no phone functionality.

    When below speed x the accidents when in use would be relatively minor just a thought.

    but when all said and done you would have to ban car radois and cd players etc on the same grounds as they cause a distraction, and I have herd of perople changinmg radio stations or uppping the volume and crashing the car.

    so its all about whats reasonable to stop and how much itall costs, but life shouldnt have a price on it?

  • Guest

    In the UK it is illegal to use a phone whilst driving and illegal to use anything with wires. Bluetooth only. Wake up world using a phone whilst driving is DUMB and you deserve to get hurt … shame 9 times out of 10 someone else gets hurt ay?

  • http://www.jubejube.net The Master Driver Man

    The problem isn’t both hands on the wheel. Many drivers drive one handed or no hands before the dawn of mobile phones (known as Metro Phone or Car phone back then).

    The issue is focus, most accidents involving phones stems from focus on conversation rather then what has your life on the line… Driving! It doesn’t matter if you are holding a phone to your ear or have that stupid flashing blue light in your ear, somehow most human brains are just not powerful enough to properly focus on two things at once, it is something to do with conversation in the ear.

    Now speaker phone or built in bluetooth car audio connect, more resembles just talking to someone in the car and may cause less accidents. However, once again there are people who focus more on chatting with passengers then actual driving. I equate it to waving a gun around your head while talking at a coffee shop. This is my view of drivers with little car for the task of driving.

    Now some drivers can talk all day on the phone and still focus on driving thus may have less detail in conversation but who cares, it will not kill you. BAN BLUETOOTH IN EAR HEADSETS DRIVING TOO!!

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