Texting and Driving in Oklahoma

texting and drivingTexting and driving in Oklahoma causes serious personal injury.  On November 1, 2015 in Oklahoma, the Trooper Nicholas Dees and Trooper Keith Burch Act of 2015 went into effect.  This bill resulted from an accident in which a driver—distracted by texting—hit and killed Oklahoma State Trooper Nicholas Dees and injured Trooper Keith Burch.  Although the wreck was unintentional, the driver received a sentence of 5 years imprisonment and 7 years of probation following.  During the probationary period, the driver may not have a cell phone except to use on emergency occasions.  This totals 12 years of punishment overall.

Oklahoma Texting and Driving Law:

Oklahoma House Bill 1965, sets out the texting and driving law in the state.  Section 2.A of the bill states:

“It shall be unlawful for any person to operate a motor vehicle…while using a hand-held electronic communication device to manually compose, send or read an electronic text message while the […] vehicle is in motion.”

Electronic devices are any device that requires your hands to enter and send a message.  As a general rule, this includes cell phones, ipads, tablets, and any other device similar to the sort.  The bill further explains that a text message includes items beyond text.  It also encompasses photos, videos, chats, and emails.

Penalties for Texting and Driving:

The fines in HB 1965 Sec. 2.B seem minimal.  Law enforcement will give you a maximum ticket of $100 for texting and driving.  Further, the ticket will not go on your record with the Department of Public Safety.  However, if you are in an accident while texting and driving, you may face much harsher penalties such as manslaughter.  Manslaughter comes with a minimum prison sentence and possible fines.

Distracted Driving Attorneys in Tulsa:

Here at Kania Law Office, we understand that you are on the road daily.  But if you or a loved one is involved in an accident that includes texting and driving, we are here to help.  The legal intricacies of this fairly new law are still forming.  Let us make sure you get proper representation for the outcome you deserve.  Call us for a free consultation or visit our Tulsa lawyers blog for more valuable legal information..

Tulsa's Local Lawyers

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