Oklahoma Lawmaker Proposes Texting While Driving Ban

January 21, 2011

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.

Latest Comments

  • January 24, 2011 at 10:15 am
    Observer says:
    Cell phone use and texting is a mental disease. These people do not live in reality and cannot be without their phone one minute of the day. They should lose their license i... read more
  • January 21, 2011 at 7:22 pm
    Erik Wood says:
    I think legislation has value in raising public awareness in forums like this one but it will be difficult to solely legislate our way out of this issue. I just read that 72% ... read more
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