Group urging lawmakers to make texting and driving illegal

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Updated: 2/04/2013 10:02 am Published: 2/02/2013 8:06 pm

At any time in Oklahoma you could see someone texting and driving.

Research from Virginia Tech Transportation Institute shows the distraction from texting and driving is 23 times more likely to cause an accident.

Generation Txt, a group raising awareness about the dangers of it, was at Woodland Hills Mall on Saturday encouraging people sign a petition to urge lawmakers to join 39 other states by making texting and driving illegal.

The group set up a virtual driving simulator used with DUI goggles that have a blood alcohol level of a .08 (at that level a person will be arrested). The goggles allow the teens to see how difficult it is to drive under the influence. Teens and parents also tried to use their cell phones to see how distracting it is while driving.

Research shows 21-percent of fatal crashes in 16-19 year old drivers is the result of cell phone usage.

“It was really hard trying to drive and text. I lost control a lot," said Kaitlyn McCormick, a teen driver.

She is seeing how difficult it is to text her father, who was driving right next to her.

"You have no control as soon as you look down," said Mike McCormick.

"I think if you were to ask anyone on the streets if they think it's dangerous to text and drive, I think they would say you're right it is but they do it anyway," said Generation Txt Teen Coordinator Christy Blystone.

Blystone says texting and driving is just as dangerous as drunk driving.

"It’s life-threatening, I've actually known people who've had their lives taken in car wrecks where texting was involved," said Kaitlyn.

She says it's enough to keep her on a straight path.

"I’ve seen what happens from it with friends. That encourages me not to do it," said the teen.

Blystone says they plan on being in Oklahoma City Monday to rally for lawmakers to make texting and driving illegal.

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The views expressed here do not necessarily represent those of KOKI FOX23 - Tulsa

aleman - 2/3/2013 12:34 PM
0 Votes
Hell,texting ain't the only thing they do...seen a woman with a lap top on the steering wheel eating a donut at the same time,the hundreds of times seen 'em puttin' makeup on looking in the mirror driving down the highway 70 mph,even saw two fat girls in the act of love on the turnpike awhile back weavin' all over the place,an old man threw a vodka bottle out the window of his truck...came so close I could read the label

ErikWood - 2/3/2013 11:44 AM
0 Votes
The CDC just reported that 60% of older teens routinely Text and Drive. I think its starting to become clear that legislation has value in raising public awareness in forums like this one but it will be difficult to solely legislate our way out of this issue. I also read that over 3/4 of teens text daily - many text more than 4000 times a month. New college students no longer have email addresses! They use texting and Facebook - even with their professors. Tweens (ages 9 -12) send texts to each other from their bikes. I decided to do something about distracted driving after my three year old daughter was nearly run down right in front of me by a texting driver. Instead of a shackle that locks down phones and alienates the user, I built a texting asset called OTTER that is a simple and intuitive GPS based, texting auto reply app for smartphones. While driving, OTTER silences those distracting call ringtones and chimes unless a bluetooth is enabled. The texting auto reply allows anyone to schedule a ‘texting blackout period’ in any situation like a meeting or a lecture without feeling disconnected. This software is a social messaging tool for the end user that also empowers this same individual to be a sustainably safer driver. Erik Wood, owner OTTER app do one thing well... be great.

kindagreywolf - 2/3/2013 8:31 AM
1 Vote
O.K.Lahoma already have enough "Distraction Driving" laws that texting easily fits into. But interesting Here are some O.K.Lahoma violation codes RK1 Reckless Driving without Regard to Property / Violation of 11-801 11-901 A RK9 Reckless Driving without Regard to Safety of Person 11-901 A IN1 Inattentive Driving Resulting in a Collision 11-901b IN3 Inattentive Driving 11-901b IN4 Inattentive Driving while using Cell Phone/Electronic Communication Device 11-901b DQ * M85 Texting While Driving (CDL holder or CMV) 11-901C DQ * M86 Using a Hand-held Mobile Device (CDL holder or CMV) 11-901C DQ * E23 Install, Possess, Operate or Use Radar Detector (CDL holder or CMV) 11-808.1

rhonda cabrera - 2/3/2013 6:00 AM
0 Votes
It makes me so mad to read things like this!! Why is this even a debate? I see it all the time,texting, talking, too preoccupied with that conversation that cannot wait they don't even use they're turn signals!! I'm supposed to know your making a left or right turn? Worse than that, law enforcement does it too!!

Mayor Maynot - 2/3/2013 12:57 AM
0 Votes
Seriously #8^]] Auto makers should just put the keyboard right in the middle of the steering wheel with a screen built into the dash. Using wireless connectivity to link the sending and receiving device enabling the operator to text and drive with minimal distraction.

Unwashed Mass - 2/2/2013 9:22 PM
1 Vote
It's police unions around the country that draft these laws, but the fact that those laws exempt police implies that there must be some safe way to text and drive that only police know. Hard to take them serious that way.

Mayor Maynot - 2/2/2013 8:33 PM
3 Votes
Sounds great, who's gonna write a cop a ticket for doing it?
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