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Oklahoma distracted driving laws

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.

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.