Oklahoma Lawmaker Targets Cell Phone-Related Accidents

oklahoma lawmaker targets cell phone related accidents

Four states ban drivers from making cell phone calls whilst underway (California, Connecticut, New Jersey and New York). Sixteen states ban beginning drivers from phoning from cars. In May 1999, the Oklahoma legislature rejected a bill mandating a blanket ban. The Journal Record reports state Rep. Paul Wesselhoft is shifting focus, proposing a mandatory fine of $1,000 and 20 days in jail for using a cell phone if it's determined to be a factor in an accident. Previously, Wesselhoft tried (and failed) to get OK to restrict drivers to hands-free devices. "I would much rather be on the preventative side of the issue. Unfortunately, we [now] have to punish them." Wesselhoft cited a NHTSA study revealing that drivers looked at the road less than 40 percent of the time while dialing a cell phone. He also pointed to statistics from the Oklahoma Highway Safety Office citing cell phones as a contributing factor in 802 accidents in 2006. Why can't we all just hang up and drive?

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  • Luther Luther on Jul 31, 2007

    If one does not possess the cognitive ability to drive and talk on a cell phone at the same time, then suicide may just be their best lifestyle choice. America is fast becoming a society of wusses/nannies. Seriously.

  • Ricky Spanish Ricky Spanish on Jul 31, 2007

    you forgot DC - its illegal to talk on a cell phone and drive there as well

  • Miked Miked on Jul 31, 2007
    If one does not possess the cognitive ability to drive and talk on a cell phone at the same time, then suicide may just be their best lifestyle choice. I can't drive (well) and talk on the phone at the same time. I hate it when I get a call when I'm driving. Usually, I just ignore the call, but if it's one that I can't ignore, I try to get off the phone as quickly as possible, I really notice my situational awareness drop considerably when I'm on the phone. Maybe it's different with an automatic and you need 1 fewer foot and 1 fewer arm to drive, but I feel like I'm much more dangerous when I'm on the phone.

  • Mullholland Mullholland on Aug 01, 2007

    Make all automatic transmissions illegal.

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