Prospects dim for Oklahoma ban on texting while driving
BY World Capitol Bureau
Wednesday, January 23, 2013
1/23/13 at 4:26 AM
OKLAHOMA CITY - A newly filed measure would ban texting while driving.
Previous similar efforts failed to garner legislative support.
House Bill 1503, filed by Rep. Curtis McDaniel, D-Smithville, states: "It shall be unlawful for any person to operate a motor vehicle on any public street or highway of this state while using a cellular telephone or electronic communication device to compose, send or read a text-based communication while the motor vehicle is in motion."
The bill would not ban talking on a cellphone while driving.
The measure would make exemptions for emergencies, such as contacting law enforcement or emergency agencies.
Critics of efforts to ban texting while driving say a ban infringes on personal rights and that other laws, such as those relating to distracted driving, cover the issue.
Rep. Mike Ritze, R-Broken Arrow, said the Legislature has discussed the issue for three to four years and that he doesn't think there is any more to gain from further discussions.
McDaniel conceded that the measure might not have the necessary support to secure passage, but he added: "The bottom line is it is dangerous. It is a safety issue. We have to take responsibility for our driving privileges, if you will."
Original Print Headline: Prospects dim for measure that would ban texting while driving