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Oklahoma Legislature Passes New Texting and Driving Law

Posted on October 17, 2015

Each year on Oklahoma roadways, a number of people are killed or seriously injured by distracted drivers who are not paying attention to traffic. The popularity of smart phones and texting has given drivers a new distraction that is quickly becoming just as dangerous as drunk driving. This may be one of the main reasons why the Oklahoma legislature passed a new texting and driving law aimed at keeping people’s attention on the road.

The law takes effect in November, and troopers are already gearing up to write tickets. If law enforcement officials see someone using their phone, they will pull them over and give them a citation. Texting while driving will be considered a primary offense and comes with a fine of $100.

The law targets texting specifically, but police will still be pulling people over even if they are using their phones to look at social media sites, get directions or some other activity. Some drivers may choose to fight the ticket if they were not actually texting at the time. It will be up to an Oklahoma judge to determine whether a violation of the law occurred.

Even when the texting and driving law goes into effect, some people will undoubtedly persist in using their phones while driving. Anyone seriously injured — or the family of someone who is killed — retains the right to file a civil action against the driver deemed responsible. If that driver is accused and convicted of texting while driving in connection with the accident, proof of that may be offered as evidence of negligence in a related civil court proceeding. Successfully proving that the injuries or death was due to the negligence of another could result in an award of damages to help alleviate the financial burdens incurred after a serious accident.

Source: ktul.com, “Troopers ready to enforce texting and driving law“, David Norris, Oct. 14, 2015

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