AAA: New Law May Not Change Drivers' Habit Of Texting-And-Driving

Thursday, October 29th 2015, 9:10 am
By: News 9

Electronic billboards are up in Oklahoma reminding drivers about the texting and driving law, which takes effect November 1.

The law passed after Oklahoma Highway Patrol Trooper Nicholas Dees was killed in January by a man accused of checking social media behind the wheel.

Anyone in violation of the law will face a $100 fine, but according to AAA Oklahoma, a new survey shows a fine may not be enough to change driver’s habits.

AAA Oklahoma used Facebook to survey Oklahomans about the new law, and 93 percent of responders support it, but when asked if the law will change their behavior, 66 percent said no.

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.

“Turn it off if you need to or put it in the glove compartment or back seat. Just don’t text. It’s the most distracted thing you can do,” said spokesperson Dave Koeneke.

The Oklahoma Safety Council is grabbing people's attention and telling them to "Practice Safe Text." It will be illegal to post to social media, take selfies or send an email while you're driving.

“The biggest question is, 'can you text at a stop light or stop sign?' The answer is yes, but again, the minute you take your foot off that brake and put it on the accelerator, you better put it away because now you’re in motion,” Koeneke said.

Koeneke said if you need directions while driving to use the voice activation feature.  He said anything beyond a one-touch button will be considered a violation of the law.