Starting November 1, 2015, drivers who are caught texting behind the wheel in Oklahoma will be facing a $100 fine. The Oklahoman reported on the implementation of the new texting-while-driving ban. House Bill 1965 was signed into law earlier this year, and officials with the Oklahoma Highway Patrol (OHP) have been getting the word out about the dangers of texting while driving. Oklahoma is the 46th state to enact some type of ban on texting behind the wheel. Unfortunately, Texas is one of the few remaining states that does not have a statewide law against texting while driving.
Oklahoma’s Ban on Texting Behind The Wheel
Reading and sending a text is illegal under the newly enacted law. This means you can’t read, compose or send a text message while driving a moving automobile. Captain Paul Timmons with the OHP reports that there will be no grace period associated with the new law, and the OHP intends to aggressively enforce the ban. They have spent the last two months educating the public about this upcoming ban. Under this law, hands-free applications are still permitted, but drivers are reminded that hands-free texting hasn’t proven to be substantially safer than handheld device use.
Distracted Driving Crashes by The Numbers
- In 2013, 3,154 people were killed in distracted driving crashes.
- An estimated 424,000 people were injured in distracted driving crashes in 2013.
- 10 percent of drivers under the age of 20 involved in fatal wrecks were reported as distracted at the time of the crash.
- Drivers in their 20s make up 27 percent of distracted drivers in fatal wrecks.
Distracted Driving Accidents in Wichita Falls
Five seconds is the average amount of time your eyes are off of the road while texting. If you’re going 55 miles per hour, that’s the equivalent of driving the length of a football field totally blindfolded. Distracted driving accidents in Wichita Falls and across the nation are 100 percent preventable. If you have been injured or if you have lost a loved one in a distracted driving crash, you need to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible about your case.
The team at the Altman Legal Group supports Oklahoma’s ban on texting while driving and hopes Texas will enact a similar law to protect motorists and other roadway users from injury causing and fatal distracted driving collisions.