Texting while driving would be illegal in Oklahoma under a bill being proposed in the House.
State Rep. Danny Morgan, D-Prague, unveiled the bill Jan. 19, flanked by members of law enforcement, health officials and insurance and wireless telephone company executives.
Morgan’s measure, House Bill 1316, will make it a criminal violation for all persons aged 18 and under to use a cell phone while driving (except emergencies), prohibits all drivers, regardless of age, from texting while driving, and prohibits all drivers from using a cell phone while driving in an area designated as school crossing zone. It also would ban the use of a cell phone in a construction zone.
All violations will be a primary offense.
Morgan says he anticipates bipartisan support for his measure and dismissed the contention that the bill infringes upon personal liberty. He said driving in Oklahoma is a responsibility, “not a God-given right.”
Representative Sue Tibbs, R-Tulsa is a principal co-author of the bill.
Oklahoma Highway Patrol spokesman George Brown says texting while driving has led to numerous fatalities in the state.