Legislation Would Ban Texting While Driving in Oklahoma

January 24, 2013

Legislation filed by state Rep. Curtis McDaniel would increase safety on Oklahoma roads by banning texting while driving, the lawmaker says.

House Bill 1503, by McDaniel, would outlaw texting while their vehicle is in motion. The bill exempts texts to emergency response operators, medical providers, firefighters and law enforcement. The penalty would not exceed $500.

“It is well-documented that texting and driving is as dangerous or more dangerous than driving under the influence, yet only DUIs are currently illegal,” said McDaniel, D-Smithville. “No one wants to see a death caused by distracted driving.”

McDaniel said driving is a responsibility.

“Our laws basically state that driving is a privilege that you earn,” McDaniel said. “For that same reason, there are penalties when you do not take that responsibility seriously enough.”

McDaniel said there is bipartisan support for outlawing texting and driving. Former state Rep. Danny Morgan (D-Prague) ran legislation for several years, with increasing support for the legislation each year.

“We are always picking up new members at the Legislature, which means new opportunities to pass this important law,” said McDaniel. “Many drivers dislike new restrictions, but changes in technology have created a texting culture which has decreased road safety. We have to address it.”

Organizations that support increased driver safety include AAA Oklahoma, Farmers Insurance, Oklahoma Safety Council, Oklahoma State Department of Health, Oklahoma Department of Public Safety, Oklahoma Highway Safety Office, AT&T, and SAFE KIDS Oklahoma State.

Source: Oklahoma House of Representatives

Latest Comments

  • January 24, 2013 at 3:34 pm
    Agent says:
    Scott, Don't expect Planet to ever give anything but a sarcastic post on most issues. He knows how dangerous texting while driving is. It is a very big growing problem and ... read more
  • January 24, 2013 at 3:21 pm
    Scott says:
    I'm assuming you're using a little sarcasm, Captain. Frankly, cell phone usage - talking or texting - should be banned while driving. The last statistics reflect 83% of cell p... read more
  • January 24, 2013 at 1:18 pm
    Captain Planet says:
    What? This is an outrage! What about my 1st Amendment rights? They are trying to limit my freedom of speech! This has got to be Obama's fault. Call Mark Levin and his whiny vo... read more
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