OKLAHOMA CITY – A newly proposed bill would ban texting while driving in Oklahoma.
House representative, Curtis McDaniel, is the author of House Bill 1503.
The bill would make it illegal to compose, send or read a text message while driving.
Many Oklahomans agree that texting while driving can be dangerous.
“It’s so dangerous,” Janet McKinney said. “Even driving on the expressway, you can tell when someone’s texting, they’re slowing down, you’re about to rear end them. It’s a distraction and it’s an aggravation. I think it should be banned.”
“I think it’s the most dangerous thing you can do. Go ahead and get drunk and go out there and see what you can hit. Same thing with texting,” said Cynthia McGill.
Oklahoma is one of only 11 states where texting while driving is not banned.
Legislators have tried to accomplish this in the past, but the bills have always been shot down.
“I don’t like the law because I frankly I text. And I think that oftentimes when we’re at a red light, we can send a quick message. It doesn’t endanger anybody,” said local attorney, David Slane.
Slane says we already have a law banning distracted driving and that it serves well enough to protect the public.
“We already have on the books careless driving, reckless driving. Motorists can be cited for inattentive driving. So there’s a way for officers to really stop anybody who’s not being careful when they drive,” said Slane.
John Jordan says he texts and drives all the time.
“I’ve totalled a vehicle while texting and driving,” he said.
He still says he would support a ban on texting and driving, but admits it probably wouldn’t change his behavior.
“Even if they do ban it, I’m going to continue doing it,” said Jordan.
Under current Oklahoma law, drivers with learning permits or intermediate drivers licenses cannot text while driving.
And bus drivers cannot text while driving.
Discussion on HB 1503 will start when the legislature reconvenes February 4th.