OK Legislature: They Are Getting SOME Things Right!
Thursday was a banner day in the Oklahoma Legislature. I admit I rail against some policies that seem, well, less than well-thought out. Today, though, it's all praise for our lawmakers who are working to make a better and safer Oklahoma. For those who say the government tries to legislate too much of our lives, I'll tell you these are three great exceptions that I am happy to have!
- SMOKING IN YOUR CAR is something you can do but legislation that passed the committee test this week would make it a offense if you are smoking with kids in the car. In fact, you could be fined $100. This is not a primary offense (which means you couldn't be stopped for it) but if you are stopped by police for another reason, they can tack this fine on to your charges. Lawton's Randy Bass is sponsoring this bill and we're pretty happy about it.
- SECURING YOUR KIDS IN THE CAR seems like a no-brainer in today's world. I remember riding on my grandpa's lap while he drove. Probably not the best idea when I was four and not the best idea for any child to be unrestrained in a vehicle. A bill passed committee would mandate kids younger than 12 be restrained in vehicles. That is now going to the full senate and we are hopeful it will pass as one more child that dies is one too many.
- TEXTING AND DRIVING has been a subject we've talked a lot about. How can we be one of only six states that has NO law on the books against this practice? Well, thanks to a lot of teens who petitioned the state and Lawton's Don Barrington who has been talking about it, a proposed law would allow police to issue a $100 fine to any driver caught using a mobile phone to compose, send or read a text message while driving. While we are happy there is movement on this topic, I don't think it is strong enough. If this were to pass, it would also be a secondary offense. I'd like to see something a little stronger -- but if this is where we start, this is where we start!