Bikers thrilled texting-while-driving bill passes house

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OKLAHOMA CITY - A victory for dozens of motorcycle riders who showed up at the state capitol Tuesday, urging lawmakers to ban texting and driving.

"Something that is not a big deal for somebody in a car, it's just a fender bender, can be fatal and devastating for a motorcyclist," motorcyclist
Lyndse Weber said.

She drove all the way from Ponca City to let lawmakers know that bikers are the most vulnerable to the dangers of texting while driving.

"A motorcycle is small," Weber said.  "It's not what people are looking for, usually."

"I've been riding motorcycles for 55 years," John Pierce said.  "I am tired of burying my brothers and sisters."

Pierce is with a group called A Brotherhood Aiming Toward Education (ABATE).

He proudly joined dozens of black leather lobbyists to watch House Bill 1965 overwhelming pass through the House Tuesday morning.

"Every house member was fair game to be talked to by motorcyclists about that bill," he said.

But State Representative Jason Murphey (R-District 31), one of only two lawmakers to vote against the bill, said it puts officers in a difficult
position.

"Does (the officer) interrogate the passengers?" he asked.  "Does he ask for the phone or attempt to seize the device?  It's an unending Pandora's
box once you put a law enforcement officer in the business of trying to figure out what specific use an electronic device was being used for."

But biker Brook Bullock said something has to be done.

"There was a lady (driving) as I was pulling from Meridian on to Northwest Expressway, and she's texting as she's doing the curve, as she's coming
around in the turn lane with me," he recalled.  "If I hadn't been able to hug the curb and slam on my brakes, she would have run me off the road.

"It can wait," Bullock said passionately.  "It can wait."

Texting while driving would be a secondary offense - meaning a driver would have to be pulled over for another violation, first.

HB 1965 will now be assigned to a senate committee.

 

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