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Oklahoma Legislature Refuses to Pass Ban on Text Messaging While Driving


Only novice drivers with learner’s permits, intermediate license holders, school bus drivers and public transit drivers are banned from text messaging while driving in the state of Oklahoma. This legislative session a bill to ban text messaging by the rest of us was killed, although the sponsor of the bill vows to try again.

Here’s why texting while driving is dangerous:

  • In 2011, 1.3 million traffic accidents, or 23 percent of all accidents, involved the use of a cell phone.
  • Five seconds is the minimal amount of time it takes to look at a text message. If you are driving 55 mph, you can travel the length of a football field without looking at the road.
  • 34 percent of young drivers — 18 to 20 years of age — admit to texting while driving.
  • Distracted driving kills nine people and injures 1,000 more each day.

Democratic Rep. Curtis McDaniel, the sponsor of bills to make texting while driving illegal, has claimed that distracted driving is six times more dangerous than drinking while driving.

Currently only Arizona, Montana and South Carolina are silent on texting while driving. Text messaging is banned for all drivers in 41 states and the District of Columbia. In addition, novice drivers are banned from texting in six states, Mississippi, Missouri, New Mexico, South Dakota, Texas and of course, Oklahoma. School bus drivers are banned from text messaging in three states — including Oklahoma, Mississippi and Texas.

Even without a law banning text messaging while driving, parents should counsel their children to put their cell phones away when driving. Oklahoma residents deserve access to justice, using the laws and courts to secure their rights and privileges of citizenship. If you or a loved one is involved in a traffic accident, contact Stipe Law Firm — our attorneys know the law and know how to protect your rights.