Oklahoma banned texting while driving law's impact on drivers

Published: Sep. 28, 2017 at 7:21 AM CDT
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Back on November of 2015, Oklahoma passed a law that banned all drivers from any use of electronic devices while driving a motor vehicles.

The differences between Oklahoma and Texas' law is Oklahoma drivers are not allowed to touch their electronic devices while in a vehicle.

As for Texas drivers, they may only use their cell phones for typing or reading a text when they are at a stoplight.

According to Oklahoma Highway Safety Office, statistics show that since the law was enforced, the number of citations has deceased each year.

In 2016, highway patrol officers gave out an average of 53 citations per month while so far this year through August, that average has deceased to 35 citations per month.

As for injury accidents, in 2016 there were an average of 43 accidents with injury per month while in 2017 through July, that average also decreased to 40 accidents per month.

News 12 had a chance to speak to local law enforcement to see if they have seen a difference with drivers.

"It seems that the public has become more aware of distracted driving whether it's using your phone or any other number of things that can distract you," Durant PD Detective Buddy Faulkner said. "So it appears that the public has become more aware. The officers have definitely increased their enforcement as far as that to hopefully decrease the amount of traffic accidents related to that."

Officers in Oklahoma used similar tactics from Texas to educate residents on the law from the use of social media to adding patrol officers in high traffic areas.

Drivers who are caught using their electronic devices in Oklahoma are subject to a fine of $100.

While in Texas, drivers could face a fine of $25 to $99 for a first time offense.