A potential bill to ban texting while driving in Oklahoma has been turned down. Democratic Rep. Curtis McDaniel tried to introduce a bill that would create a statewide ban on texting while driving. The bill did pass a House committee, but didn’t come to a vote on the floor. After the first failure, he tried adding it as an amendment to another bill. The second bill failed to pass as well. Scott Inman, House Minority Leader, had strong words for the chamber. He told them they didn’t even “have the guts” to bring the bill to a vote.
This scenario may sound familiar to Texans. Earlier this year, a house committee hearing was held in Texas about a potential ban on texting while driving. It was Rep. Tom Craddick’s second attempt at a statewide texting ban, but Governor Rick Perry was staunchly opposed. Oklahoma and Texas are actually two of eleven states that do not have a statewide texting ban in place. The El Paso Times reported this week that there is still a chance for the ban in Texas. A bill just got through the House that could make texting while driving a misdemeanor.
It is no secret that distracted driving is incredibly dangerous. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that 3,000 people were killed in distracted driving crashes in 2010. In fact, they even state that drivers who are texting are 23 times more likely to crash than their non-texting counterparts. Distracted driving has even been described as more dangerous than drunk driving. Reaction times are slower for drivers who are using handheld devices like smart phones and tablets. Anytime a driver takes his or her attention away from the road, they’re putting other drivers at risk.
Distracted driving may not always be immediately apparent following a crash. Victims are likely receiving medical attention and focusing on getting well. They aren’t checking on the other driver’s phone records. An experienced lawyer can follow up with law enforcement officials to determine if distracted driving was a factor in a wreck. Even though there isn’t a statewide ban on texting in Oklahoma or Texas, a distracted driver can still be liable for damages in the event of a crash. If you or someone you love has been injured by somebody who was texting while driving, contact the experienced attorneys at the Altman Legal Group at (800) 772-0828 for a free consultation.