A measure that would prohibit texting while driving in Oklahoma is receiving significant attention, despite the fact that the bill was derailed in a House committee citing concerns about it jeopardizing personal freedoms and being difficult to enforce. Senate Bill 1503, authored by Rep. Curtis McDaniel of McClain County, passed a House transportation committee last week with a 12-2 vote, but has since been tabled. Similar anti-texting measures have faced resistance in the state Senate, despite well-documented statistics regarding the dangers of texting and using a cell phone while driving. If you have suffered injuries in an Oklahoma car accident caused by a distracted driver, contact our reputable attorneys at Atkins & Markoff today.
UNDERSTANDING OK’S PROPOSED ANTI-TEXTING MEASURE
The proposed anti-texting bill would make it illegal for anyone to “compose, send, or read a text-based communication while the motor vehicle is in motion,” imposing a fine of up to $500 for those who violate the law in Oklahoma. Distracted driving is already illegal in Oklahoma, but the state does not specifically prohibit cell phone use or texting while driving, although these actions may be penalized depending on the situation. In other words, a driver in Oklahoma won’t be pulled over and ticketed for using a cell phone or texting unless the officer believes that the driver’s actions pose a safety threat to others on the roadway.
DEVASTATING CONSEQUENCES OF DISTRACTED DRIVING
Supporters of the texting ban include the Distraction Advocate Network, co-founded by Jennifer Smith after her mother was killed in 2008 by a driver distracted by his cell phone. “We just want to protect others from the same tragedies we’ve had to endure,” says Smith. “Because they are so needless and so preventable.” McDaniel hopes that Smith’s message will give the anti-texting measure a better chance of being approved by Oklahoma lawmakers. “Drinking and driving, they take your license. They throw you in jail. They take everything. [Texting] is proven to be six times more dangerous than drinking and driving,” McDaniel argued. “To me, it’s a no brainer. But we are in Oklahoma City and logic doesn’t always play out here.”
OUR EXPERIENCED ATTORNEYS CAN HELP YOU FILE A CLAIM
Distracted driving is a serious concern in Oklahoma, and texting and cell phone use has long been considered a major cause of car accident injuries and fatalities nationwide. In fact a recent AAA study indicates that the use of electronics is the leading source of distraction among teen drivers throughout the United States. If you have been injured in a car accident in Oklahoma City, or elsewhere in Oklahoma, and you believe distracted driving is to blame, consult our knowledgeable lawyers at Atkins & Markoff for legal help. Our law firm is located in Oklahoma City, and our attorneys have extensive experience protecting the legal rights of car accident victims throughout the state.