Driving a car is something that requires all motorists to have their eyes on the road, hands on the wheel, and minds on the task of driving. Distracted driving is considered anything that interferes with these actions and is a serious problem in Oklahoma and across the country.
To combat this issue, Oklahoma has certain laws that make it illegal for drivers to engage in certain distracted driving behaviors.
Laws Against Cell Phones and Distracted Driving
General distracted driving in Oklahoma is prohibited by 47 OK Stat. §47-11-901b, which states that motorists are required to devote their full time and attention to driving. Additionally, state lawmakers also enacted a “texting and driving ban” in 2015, which makes it illegal for drivers to operate a vehicle using a handheld electronic communication device to:
- Write texts
- Send text messages
- Read text messages
Unlike many other states, texting and driving in Oklahoma is considered a primary offense, meaning that a law enforcement officer does not have to witness the driver breaking another traffic law (speeding, running through a red light or stop sign, etc.). A driver can be pulled over simply for being seen texting while driving.
Penalties for Violating Distracted Driving Laws
Citations may be issued for those who disobey the state’s general distracted driving law if a law enforcement officer witnesses a driver involved in a car accident or driving in a manner that poses a danger to those on the roadway. For texting and driving, in particular, $100 fines are typically given to violators.
There are a few exceptions to Oklahoma’s texting and driving ban, including communicating with:
- An emergency response officer
- A hospital, physician’s office, or other health clinic
- The provider of ambulance services
- The provider of firefighter services
- A law enforcement agency
If you or a loved one was injured in a distracted driving accident, Aizenman Law Group is ready to stand in your corner and protect your rights to fair and full compensation. Get in touch with our legal team at (918) 215-8856 to learn more about your legal options.