Texting while driving is like singing in the shower. No one wants to admit they actually do it and we all think we’re really good at it. According to a recent study 55 percent of young adults claim it’s easy to text while they drive.
Despite the overwhelming confidence of motorists, research has shown that drivers who text while driving are 23 times more likely to get in a wreck. The 1.3 million cell phone related crashes in 2011 validate this study.
Oklahoma lawmakers took note of these studies and statistics, which caused them to pass a new law that makes texting while driving a primary offense carrying a $100 fine. November 1st is the first day the law will be effective, and law enforcement agencies all around the state have started to prepare for the change.
Texting while driving is not a primary offense under current Oklahoma law. This means police officers cannot pull over a driver just for texting. The driver must be violating a primary offense like speeding to be pulled over. Once a driver is pulled over for the primary offense, the officer can then write an additional ticket for distracted driving.
There are a few opponents of the law that criticize the law claiming the scope is too limited because it specifically says “texting.” This could be problematic if drivers get pulled over for looking at their phone’s GPS, finding a song on their iPod or posting to social media.
If you don’t want to get into a wreck or get a ticket, it’s always a good idea to eliminate any and all distractions before you get behind the wheel.
The law firm of Baysinger, Henson, Reimer & Cresswell is ready to help if you’ve been issued a traffic or speeding violation. These Tulsa criminal defense lawyers have the experience and expertise needed to protect your driver’s license.