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.