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Oklahoma distracted driving

Lawmakers Hope Texting and Driving Ban Could Reduce Number of Oklahoma Car Accidents

by Keith Adkins

In an age where technology is almost always at our fingertips, distracted driving has become one of the greatest dangers to motorists on the road today—especially in Oklahoma. Data from the Oklahoma Highway Patrol shows that in 2009, distracted driving was responsible for causing as many as 1,700 Oklahoma car accidents. Even more disturbing is the fact that more than half of those collisions involved teenage and young adult drivers.

To help address this problem, state lawmakers are considering a bill that would prohibit motorists from using a handheld electronic device while behind the wheel of a vehicle. While the bill was almost unanimously approved by the state House of Representatives, those in favor of the bill say the measures it outlines still aren’t stringent enough.

Insurance Journal reports House Bill 1965 only makes texting and driving a secondary offense, meaning an officer has to observe the distracted driver commit another traffic infraction before they can be stopped and cited for a distracted driving violation. Many believe texting and driving should be a primary offense—a violation of the law that is grounds to be stopped and cited by a law enforcement official.

At Colbert Cooper Hill Attorneys, we know the dangers distracted driving can pose and we are excited to see laws banning the behavior being considered; however, our Oklahoma personal injury lawyers are hopeful to see stronger measures put in place against distracted driving in the future.

Bill Aims to Reduce Oklahoma Car Accident Numbers By Preventing Distracted Driving

by Keith Adkins

Distracted driving continues to be a serious threat to motorists on Oklahoma’s roads and highways. Data from the Oklahoma Highway Patrol shows as many as 1,700 Oklahoma car accidents are caused by driver inattention each year in our state and one of the leading distractions is using electronic devices behind the wheel. This leaves many citizens wondering what is being done to better protect motorists in Oklahoma from distracted drivers.

There are currently no laws that keep motorists from using electronic devices while driving, but one state Senator is hoping to change that soon. According to an article from the Insurance Journal, Senator Ron Sharp is sponsoring Senate Bill 67. The piece of legislation calls for any motorist who is caught using an electronic device while driving to be charged with a misdemeanor offense, punishable by a $1,00 fine, up to a year in jail, or both.

An infraction would be considered a secondary offense. That means a law enforcement officer would have to observe the driver commit another offense before they could stop and cite the motorist.

The only exception to the rule would be if a motorist was operating the device using Bluetooth or another type of hands-free technology.

At Colbert Cooper Hill Attorneys, we recognize the dangers distracted driving poses and our Oklahoma personal injury lawyers hope to see Senator Sharps’ bill approved when it’s reviewed during the next legislative session.