Oklahoma Texting Ban Shot Down By House

Posted on April 24, 2013

Various states are considering bans on texting and driving during this year’s legislative session, and while proposed bans in such states as Texas and Florida enjoy positive outlooks, others, like those in South Dakota and New Mexico, haven’t fared as well.  Now, you can add another state to that latter list.

A proposed texting and driving ban in Oklahoma has been shot down by lawmakers, a conclusion that one Representative says goes beyond frustrating and enters the realm of aggravating.  He has fought tooth and nail to get the measure passed this year and vows to do the same in future years.

First, a ban on texting at the wheel existed as a standalone proposal, but the measure, which would have made a violator pay a fine of $500, was denied a full hearing in the House because the Calendar Committee refused to let it pass.  This was despite initial passage in one other committee.  Not giving up, the sponsor then amended another bill with a passage that would outlaw texting, but that too failed.

Yesterday, the die was cast for a final showdown, but it was not to be.  An amendment to another existing bill was again sought, but lawmakers voted it down before it could even be added to the bill.  When expressing their reasoning, lawmakers pointed to difficulties with enforcement and the idea that current recklessness statues already cover texting.

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