Organization urging lawmakers to approve bill to crack down on distracted drivers

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OWASSO, Okla. – An Oklahoma lawmaker has proposed a bill in memory of a teacher who was killed by a distracted driver.

Gail Lambert says her daughter, Bobbi White, was killed by a distracted driver in May of 2016 in a construction zone.

“I don’t want to be angry, I don’t,” she told KJRH in 2017. “But my daughter is gone, so it’s rough.”

Since her daughter’s death, White has been pressuring lawmakers to crack down on distracted drivers.

Initially, Sen. J.J. Dossett filed the ‘Bobbi White Act’ two years ago.

“If you get pulled over for texting and driving, you could just say, ‘I’m not texting,” Dossett said at the time. “You have your privacy rights and people can’t look through your phone without your permission. So we need to be able to say that you can’t have something in your hand and be looking at it while your vehicle is in motion.”

The bill would make it illegal for drivers to have their phone in their hands in a school or construction zone.

Although the bill didn’t make it to the governor’s desk then, Dossett is hoping to pass it this legislative session.

Senate Bill 17, also known as the ‘Bobbi White Act,’ passed the Senate 38-8 last month. It will now go before the House Judiciary Committee.

Now, AAA is urging lawmakers to approve the bill.

“Distracted driving is a growing epidemic that must be stopped,” urged Leslie Gamble, manager of Public and Government Affairs for AAA Oklahoma. “Citizens are encouraged to contact their state representatives to let them know SB17 is a step in the right direction and that they support expansion of this law to save lives on Oklahoma roadways.”

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