L.A. school joins Oprah's safe-driving pledge

LOS ANGELES Oprah has become the driving force behind the effort to get people to put down their mobile phones and other devices while driving and keep their focus on the road.

Hundreds of students at /*John Marshall High School*/ in Los Feliz cheered from the bleachers as they watched /*Oprah*/ on a giant video screen as she hosted a special program as part of her campaign to stop people from texting and talking on the phone while driving.

"Today is the start of a new day where all of us get to come together and stand with the families who lost people that they love," Oprah said.

/*Mario Lopez*/ and /*Lisa Ling*/ hosted the rally in L.A., and both have signed Oprah's /*No Phone Zone*/ pledge.

"The texting is unnecessary and it just takes a split second to cause an accident," Lopez told Eyewitness News.

"That day that I agreed to sign it, my husband's colleague told him that her daughter had killed herself while texting, so it was just confirmation that I did the right thing," said Ling.

The talk show host wants to raise awareness and educate the public about the dangers of distracted driving. Around 6,000 Americans are killed every year in accidents involving a driver who was distracted.

Oprah teamed up with safety groups for the program which featured stories from families who lost loved ones in such accidents.

ABC7's /*Danny Romero*/ emceed the program after the broadcast featuring a performance by former /*American Idol*/ contestants /*Kris Allen*/ and /*Allison Iraheta*/.

"My friend had an accident but luckily she was safe and it wasn't that bad, but I'm trying to take a stand against it," said a John Marshall student.

"It's very devastating to see all those families sharing all their stories about their sons being killed just by someone looking at their phone," said another John Marshall student Yvette Majewsky.

So far, more than 200,000 people have signed Oprah's No Phone Zone pledge.

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