Text Me While Driving. It’s Not Against The Law in Oklahoma
No, don't really text me while driving. That would be stupid, right? Why, then, is Oklahoma one of only SIX states that still has no law against texting while driving for the general public?
I'll throw out the counter argument first: because we should be smarter than that and don't need to regulate every little thing in the universe.
Yes, that is also something I believe. However, some laws help protect us from our own or someone else's stupidity.
A recent study shows that texting while driving is six times more dangerous than drunk driving and is now the leading cause of injury and death on our highways.
Currently, Oklahoma has two laws on the books for distracted driving: you can't text and drive if you have a permit or an intermediate license or if you are a public transit driver.
In Texas, there are several additional laws including banning the use of handheld devices in school zones. Kansas, Arkansas and New Mexico ban texting for all drivers.
The good news is there is legislation pending to make texting while driving illegal and punishable with up to a $1,000 fine. The bad news is our state legislature has rejected legislation in the past, including FIVE times last year!
Having the law on the books, even when it is difficult to enforce, has been proven to reduce distracted driving (especially in younger drivers). Isn't that enough of a reason?
HOW YOU CAN HELP:
As cliche as it sounds, contacting your representatives does help and does give weight to these bills. Let them know if this issue is personal to you and that you believe it is time Oklahoma got behind the bill to remove distracting devices from behind the wheel.
Here's a link to find your elected officials in Oklahoma. Send them an email, write a letter or pick up the phone.