One year ago this month, October 2014, OTEMS, NWRCFD, Oologah PD, Talala PD, OHP, Tulsa Life Flight, Rice Funeral Home, Oologah-Talala School District and other agencies collaborated to demonstrate the dangers of texting and driving to our Oologah middle and high school students. This year our efforts and the efforts of countless other agencies across the state of Oklahoma have realized a major goal. November 1st 2015, the Trooper Nicholas Dees and Trooper Keith Burch Act of 2015 will take effect. This act authored by Rep. Terry O’Donnell, states “it shall be unlawful for any person to operate a motor vehicle on any street or highway within this state while using a hand-held electronic communication device to manually compose, send or read an electronic text message while the motor vehicle is in motion.”
Experts say distracted driving is one of the greatest dangers on the roadway. Beginning November 1, 2015, it will be illegal to text, update social media outlets, send emails, and take pictures or videos while operating a motor vehicle. Just the simple act of holding your cell phone could result in a traffic stop. “The average time to respond to a text is 4.6 seconds from looking at your text and responding to it. If a car is traveling down a highway at 55 miles per hour, it would travel further than a football field in distance and the driver is essentially blind,” Rep. Terry O’Donnell said.
Troopers say using your phone as GPS is acceptable, however if you appear to be distracted by your device you could be pulled over. Utilizing your cell phone while operating a motor vehicle to speak to an emergency response operator, a hospital, physician’s office or health clinic or a provider of an ambulance service are acceptable. Other circumstances that break the law could result in a $100.00 fine.