Gov. Fallin Signs Law Banning Texting and Driving in Oklahoma

by Keith Adkins

Distracted driving is quickly becoming one of the greatest hazards on road across the United States, and Oklahoma is no exception. Data from the Oklahoma Highway Patrol shows that as many as 1,700 Oklahoma car accidents were the result of distracted driving in 2009. That number has only increased over the years.

These statistics prompted Oklahoma’s lawmakers to take action to put an end to distracted driving in our state. Earlier this month, lawmakers moved one step closer to that goal. According to an article from the Insurance Journal, Gov. Mary Fallin recently signed a bill into law that would prohibit motorists in Oklahoma from texting and driving at the same time.

The Trooper Nicholas Dees and Trooper Keith Birch Act makes sending or reading text messages via an electronic device while driving a primary offense. This means officers do not need to witness a distracted motorist commit another infraction before they can be pulled over and ticketed. Violations are punishable by a $100 citation.

Exceptions to the Oklahoma texting and driving ban include if the text message is being sent during an emergency situation or if a hands-free device is being used to compose and send the text message.

At Colbert Cooper Hill Attorneys, we’ve seen the devastating results distracted driving can have on the lives of accident victims and their families. That’s why our Oklahoma personal injury lawyers applaud the efforts being made to reduce texting and driving in our state and encourage you to do your part for the cause by putting your phone down while driving.