One year ago, after years of legislative foot-dragging, Oklahoma finally passed a law banning texting while driving. Drivers caught texting while at the wheel are now subject to a $100 fine. Unfortunately, according to an article from the Oklahoman, the new law may not be a significant deterrent.
The Law Is Difficult To Enforce
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has reported an increase in recent years in the number of fatal accidents related to distracted driving, including texting and driving. If the numbers of tickets issued in Oklahoma are any indication, the new law may not be enough to stop this trend.
According to the article, police departments throughout the state have not issued texting and driving tickets in substantial numbers (only 198 in Oklahoma City since the inception of the new law), in part because the law is difficult to enforce. A police officer must actually see a driver texting while behind the wheel in order to initiate a traffic stop. However, cellphones are often held out of the line of sight.
What Can You Do?
Needless to say, it is important for all drivers to avoid texting while on the road. Furthermore, drivers should be aware that, if they are victims of an auto accident caused by someone who was driving and texting, they have recourse. With the help of an experienced attorney, they may be able to hold the negligent driver accountable and seek compensation for medical bills, lost wages and other costs.