Oprah: Declare your car a ‘No Phone Zone’

WASHINGTON – Oprah Winfrey wants America’s drivers to declare their cars “No Phone Zones.”

“It’s like Russian roulette every time you pick up your phone in the car,” Winfrey told her viewers from Chicago on Friday. She dedicated her TV show to urging people to sign pledges not to chat or text from behind the wheel.

Safety advocates hope Winfrey’s star power will bring attention to the growing scourge of distracted drivers, who are blamed for an estimated 6,000 deaths and a half-million injuries a year.

The advocates hope to mimic the success of safety campaigns in the 1980s that helped reduce drunken driving deaths and increased the use of seat belts.

“Everybody has a bad habit of thinking they can talk on their phone or text and drive, and you can’t do it safely,” Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said at a Washington rally against distracted driving.

Twenty-four states and the District of Columbia prohibit drivers from texting behind the wheel; six states bar drivers from using hand-held cell phones.

In Maine, the law makes failure to maintain control of a motor vehicle because of any distraction a traffic infraction.

It also adds penalties for drivers who cause accidents while distracted.

The law does not specifically outlaw use of any device or activity while an adult is driving, though Mainers ages 16 and 17 are barred from text messaging or using cell phones while driving.

Phillips’ drug case dismissed 

LOS ANGELES – A drug charge against Mackenzie Phillips was dismissed Friday after the actress successfully completed a drug diversion program.

Phillips, 50, appeared in a Los Angeles courtroom for a final hearing in the case.

The television actress pleaded guilty in October 2008 to a felony drug possession charge and agreed to enter drug treatment.

She had been arrested two months earlier by airport screeners who said they found a small amount of narcotics.

“Mackenzie deserves great credit for seizing the opportunity she was given to get clean and prove she was worthy of the dismissal of her case,” her attorney Blair Berk said in a statement.

In a video posted on the celebrity website TMZ.com, Phillips is seen telling the judge the case changed her life.

She had a history of drug abuse and was fired from the TV series “One Day at a Time” in 1982.

Bon Jovi celebrates for cause

NEW YORK – Jon Bon Jovi spent his 21st wedding anniversary doing what he does best — performing.

The rocker was the entertainment for Thursday’s gala for DKMS, which helps find bone marrow donors for leukemia patients. Bon Jovi was there with his wife, Dorethea.

He sang some of his band’s biggest hits, including “Livin’ on a Prayer.” He says he didn’t mind “singing a song to help lighten the load for a minute.”

The event raised more than $1.7 million.

Michaels may return for ‘Apprentice’ finale

LOS ANGELES — Bret Michaels could stage yet another comeback sooner than expected.

Doctors say it is possible that Michaels, the outspoken former Poison frontman currently competing on “The Celebrity Apprentice,” could be healthy enough to appear on the NBC reality series’ live finale May 23.

Michaels, 47, one of seven stars remaining in the competition, has been in intensive care since suffering a brain hemorrhage last week.

“If all the studies he had done show no evidence of an aneurysm being found, it would really just depend on his energy level,” said Dr. Ronald Benitez, director of cerebrovascular surgery at Overlook Hospital in Summit, N.J.


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