Oklahoma Highway Patrol cracking down on distracted driving

CLAREMORE, Okla. — Drivers in Green Country are being warned not to use their phone behind the wheel. The Oklahoma Highway Patrol is trying to put a stop to distracted driving.

Texting and driving, eating and driving, even putting on makeup behind the wheel are all things the Oklahoma Highway Patrol says they see a lot of, and they want it to stop.

Lieutenant Matt Southall said it’s important to take your eyes off your phone.

“That text can wait,” Southall said. “That phone call can wait. Focus on your driving. Get to your destination safely and that’s our hope for all Oklahomans.”

OHP says texting is the number one problem with distracted driving in the state.

In 2020 there were 7,500 crashes across the state caused by drivers who’ve taken their eyes off the road. Those wrecks killed 41 people and seriously injured hundreds more.

This month, the Oklahoma Highway Patrol is clamping down on distracted drivers.

And this is personal for the highway patrol back in January 2015 they lost one of their own at the hands of a driver who’d been texting.

OHP Trooper Nicholas Dees was on the scene of a crash in Seminole County, when he was hit, he died instantly.

Since then, it’s become illegal to text while driving in Oklahoma.

Troopers are going to be out looking for distracted drivers and say if you get caught, you’ll get a $100 fine.