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Cell Phone Industry Group Launches Public Service Campaign

NEW YORK, N.Y. ( — Under pressure to do something about car accidents involving cell phones, the industry-backed Cell Phone Safety Council today launched a public service campaign urging users to "scream like hell" before impact, thereby alerting callers on the other end that there is some kind of trouble.

Public service poster
   As part of a public service campaign, posters will appear on buses in major cities.

"It's ironic, but people who can talk forever on a cell phone suddenly come up mute when they're about to get into a collision," said CPSC spokesman Donald Lufrette. "They just get hit, and the caller on the other end doesn't know what happened."

Therefore, the safety council suggests users scream "Aahhh!" or "Oh God!" or, if there are no children present, "Shit!" just before impact. A proper scream, Lufrette insisted, can save your life, as the person on the other end of the call can then phone authorities.

As an added advantage, a good caterwaul also cuts down on the wasted airtime that inevitably follows a crash as the phone, still connected, sits amid shards of broken glass on the hood of the car. A wise caller, realizing your predicament, will know to hang up right away.

"Your hospital bills are going to be bad enough," Lufrette remarked. "The last thing you want is a big fat cell phone bill on top of it.".

Sally Anne Rimes, a cell phone user in Garden City, N.J., said she welcomes the public service campaign.

"It's very annoying when suddenly the other person isn't talking and you don't know what happened," said Rimes. "You're just sitting there going, 'Hello? Hello?'"

Rimes said three of her friends have been in accidents while speaking on cell phones, but only one of them had the sense to scream first. "It was so thoughtful of him to yell. I was like, 'Oh my God! Look, call me back when you're free,' and I hung up. I saved his widow a ton of money."


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