Admit it. We’ve all been guilty at one time or another of texting while driving. Everyone thinks they’re skilled enough to safely fire off a text while cruising down the highway at 75 miles per hour. In fact 55 percent of young adults claim it’s easy to text while they drive.
Unfortunately, in 2011 there were around 1.3 million crashes that involved a cellphone. In fact, drivers are 23 times more likely to be involved in a wreck when they choose to text and drive.
To stop this, Oklahoma has created a law that will make texting while driving a primary offense with a fine of $100. This law is set to take effect November 1st and law enforcement officials are already making preparations.
Currently texting while driving is not a primary offense, meaning drivers cannot be pulled over just for texting. Drivers can be ticketed for texting but it must be in addition to a primary offense like speeding. By making texting a primary offense law enforcement officers can now pull drivers over for just texting.
Although texting while driving might be harder to prove in court than speeding, legal experts think the charge will stand up.
Oklahoma City already has an ordinance against distracted driving and OKC law enforcement is hopeful this law will help support the existing ordinance. Some cities, such as Enid, do not have an ordinance to enforce the law, so they are working to pass such an ordinance by November 1st.
Some critics of the law say it’s too narrow because it specifically says “texting.” This creates a grey area if people are on their phones checking emails, posting to Facebook, taking selfies or doing whatever the latest craze is.
The best way to avoid getting a ticket or getting into an accident is to always remove as many distractions as possible, including cellphones, and keep your eyes on the road.