Oklahoma lawmaker says in-car phone calls could soon be illegal

OKLAHOMA CITY — Quick facts:

  • Oklahoma drivers may soon be subject to a law prohibiting holding a phone while driving.
  • Some legislators worry a recent texting and driving ban does not go far enough.
  • They cite studies that show talking on the phone is a distraction.

Though hands-free devices would be OK, a lawmaker says holding a phone to your ear is almost as dangerous as texting.

Oklahoma drivers are already subject to a law banning texting while driving, but now, some lawmakers worry that doesn't go far enough.

They say some studies show talking on the phone is a distraction.

Senator Ron Sharp (R-Shawnee) wrote the texting and driving law, and now he is trying to write a new one banning the use of all communication devices while driving.

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He says a phone mount or hands-free Bluetooth technology would be OK, but he's concerned those with the phone next to their ears may take their hands completely off the steering wheel.

According to Chuck Mai and Triple A, crashes, injuries and fatalities have all dropped by 12, 20 and 30 percent, respectively, since the implementation of the texting and driving law.

Triple A isn't counting on lawmakers to push the new bill through, though, citing Oklahomans' dislike for government regulations.

Sharp, on the other hand, says his bill will be worth it.