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New Laws Take Effect In Oklahoma

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The Oklahoma Safety Council said for people to follow the law, it comes down to changing our habits because people are programmed to answer their phones immediately. The Oklahoma Safety Council said for people to follow the law, it comes down to changing our habits because people are programmed to answer their phones immediately.

A new law that makes it illegal to text and drive has received plenty of attention, but the measure is just one of more than 250 laws that were enacted Sunday.

People caught reading or writing texts or emails while driving will be fined $100 under the Trooper Nicholas Dees and Trooper Keith Burch Act of 2015. Dees was killed and Burch seriously injured when a man accused of texting while driving crashed into them in January.

10/22/15 Related Story: New OKC Ordinance Regarding Turns Signals Goes Into Effect 

The state also issued new regulations for car seats. All kids eight and under have to be in some kind of car or booster seat. Children under two must be in a rear-facing car seat.  Children ages two to four must be in a front-facing car seat. Children over four before their eighth birthday, or shorter than 4’9” must be in some kind of car or booster seat.

Two new laws will give you the option of registering to vote and renewing your license online as soon as the system is up and running.

And now, people convicted of misdemeanor drug offenses will now be allowed to apply for gun licenses.

Also, a law requires that doctors check a central database to see if patients are trying to get prescription drugs illegally.

3/1/15 Related Story: Gov. Mary Fallin Signs Bill That Helps Prevent Prescription Abuse

Terminally ill patients will also have more access to treatment. Oklahoma is now a “Right to Try” state allowing patients to try drugs that have not yet received full FDA approval.

Among the other bills that took effect Sunday are several that target Oklahoma's steadily increasing prison population, and one that paves the way for Oklahoma to become the first state to use nitrogen gas to execute inmates.

If lethal injections are ruled unconstitutional, or become unavailable, death row inmates may now be executed by nitrogen gas, electrocution, or firing squad.

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