What you need to know about Oklahoma’s new texting and driving ban

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OKLAHOMA CITY -- Governor Fallin signed a bill into law Tuesday afternoon that bans texting while driving in Oklahoma.

Now that it’s illegal, what about the gray areas like texting at a stop light or using your GPS navigation?

The new law goes into effect November 1st, but law enforcement officers want drivers to get familiar now with putting down their cell phones because once the car is moving, holding your cell phone could get you pulled over.

Experts say it’s one of the greatest dangers on the road – being distracted by your cell phone, whether it’s texting, email, or being on social media.

It’s the reason behind the crash that killed Trooper Nicholas Dees and injured Trooper Keith Burch back in January.

Rep. Terry O’Donnell authored the bill banning texting while driving.

“The average time to respond to a text is 4.6 seconds from looking at your text and responding to it. If a car is traveling down the highway at 55 miles an hour, it would travel further than a football field in distance and the driver is essentially blind,” Rep. O’Donnell said.

But what exactly does the new law cover?

You can’t text or update social media if your car is moving.

You can do it while stopped at lights.

You also can’t check your email.

As for GPS, troopers say you can use your phone for directions, but if you look distracted by your phone, you can still get pulled over.

The same goes for using your phone to play music in your car.

“I think there are certainly going to be challenges with enforcement,” Rep. O’Donnell said.

That’s because it’ll be the officer’s word against the driver’s, and police can’t search your phone on the side of the road.

You also can’t shoot video or pictures while driving.

You will be able to talk on your cell phone, but troopers advise using a hands-free device through your radio or a headset.

If you break the law, you’re looking at a $100 fine.

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