In recent years, the trend when it comes to distracted driving laws here in America has been for states to institute total bans on texting while driving, a total ban meaning that the ban applies to all drivers in a state. Currently, a vast majority of states have such a total ban in place.
However, there are a few holdouts from this trend. Oklahoma is one such holdout. Oklahoma and five other states have thus far decided to remain without a state-wide total texting-while-driving ban.
Now this does not mean that Oklahoma law doesn't prohibit any drivers from engaging in texting when behind the wheel. Rather than a full ban, Oklahoma has a targeted ban in which there are certain classes of drivers for which texting while driving is a directly prohibited activity. Among the types of drivers that are not permitted to text-and-drive in the state are:
- Drivers of public transit vehicles.
- School bus drivers.
- Drivers with a learner's permit.
- Drivers with an intermediate license.
Given the fact that texting while driving is a major traffic safety topic these days and that there are 44 states out there with total bans, a major topic of debate here in Oklahoma (and in the other holdout states) is whether to change state law to completely ban texting-and-driving or to stay in the minority.
Where do you land in this debate? Do you think Oklahoma should institute a total ban? Do you think the current lack of a total ban is having traffic safety implications here? Do you think that distracted driving from texting while driving is more of a problem, less of a problem or about the same level of problem here in Oklahoma as it is in the nation at large?
Source: Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, "Cellphones and texting," January 2015