“On November 1, texting while operating a motor vehicle will be illegal in the State of Oklahoma” said State Representative Terry O’Donnell of Catoosa. O’Donnell authored House Bill 1965, which was signed into law by Governor Mary Fallin, outlawing the practice. “Having conducted an extensive interim study on the subject, we learned that texting while driving makes a driver 23 times more likely to be involved in an accident; and an average of 11 people die each day in the United States as a result of texting while driving” O’Donnell remarked.
The measure signed into law imposes a $100 fine for using a handheld electronic communication device to “manually compose, send or read an electronic text message while the motor vehicle is in motion”. The measure passed both the State House of Representatives and State Senate by an overwhelming majority and was quickly signed by Governor Fallin last spring. With the passage of the law, Oklahoma will become the 46th state to ban texting while driving.
“National statistics show that while drivers are engaged in reading or composing text messages, they spend almost 60% of that time out of their lane of traffic”, O’Donnell stated.
“Over 330,000 injuries each year are caused by texting and driving, it is a ridiculously dangerous habit and passage of this law will prevent property damage, injuries and fatality accidents of everyone using Oklahoma’s roads and highways” O’Donnell said.