Lawmakers push for cell phone ban

Thursday, August 7th 2008, 6:41 pm
By: News 9

By Amy Lester, NEWS 9

OKLAHOMA CITY - State lawmakers are asking if drivers should be allowed to talk or text on a cell phone while driving.

Representative Danny Morgan and Representative Sue Tibbs are holding an interim study in fall about the effects of cell phones on drivers.
Lawmakers are looking at anything from requiring you to use a hands free device to forcing teens to hang up the phone. A metro mother said it's time for lawmakers to take action.

"Everybody I meet, someone's going to hear about Brittanie. Someone's going to see a picture and someone's going to get a chat. You need to be careful, you don't need to talk on your phone while driving," Gina Harris said.

That is how Harris keeps her daughter Brittanie's memory alive.

A year and a half ago, Brittanie was driving and talking on the cell phone when she lost control, crashed and died.

"She did know better she did. I'm just still thankful no one else was injured severely, no one else lost their life in it."

Ever since that day, Harris has pushed for a law restricting the use of cell phones.

"The distractions in our vehicles need to stop, I think totally. It needs to come back, our hands are on the wheel. You're using a bluetooth or something wireless."

Several lawmakers tried to pass laws in the past, without any luck. Now, there's a new effort at the State Capitol.

"We think if we can take the distraction away from those drivers, even the adult drivers at some point, it'll be a much safer driving environment for everyone," Rep. Morgan said.

Brittanie's mother hopes this time lawmakers will say yes to cell phone restrictions, which she believes will save lives.

"If it helps one person, to me, it's worth it," Harris said.

Seventeen states have banned or restricted the use of cell phones by young drivers.