If Suffolk police are right, it’s likely Jeffrey Verde didn’t take Oprah Winfrey’s “No Phone Zone Pledge.”
Police said Verde, an East Islip teen, told them he lost control of his 2005 Jeep last night while changing a song on his iPod. He hit a parked car, drove across "a couple of lawns," then crashed into an East Islip house.
The incident happened to occur the night before Winfrey was set to air a live episode devoted to the dangers of cell-phone use and texting while driving. She also declared Friday the first national “No Phone Zone Day.”
Oprah's pledge states: “I pledge to make my car a No Phone Zone. Beginning right now, I will do my part to help put an end to distracted driving by committing to drive as responsibly as I can.”
Voters are given 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 a secure location.
As of about 11:30 a.m., 228,285 pledges had been cast on Oprah’s website.
The driver of this Jeep crashed into a house on Yuma Lane after police said he was toying with his iPod late Thursday night in East Islip. (Photo by Robert Garafolo /April 29, 2010)