Tweaks to Oklahoma's anti-texting and driving bill will make it easier for law enforcement to catch violators if approved. Changes to the House Bill passed by a narrow margin Wednesday.
The original bill listed texting and driving as a secondary offense. Meaning, you'd have to be pulled over for another reason like speeding in order to be ticket also for sending text. But now that's not the case.
On Wednesday, freshman Senator Ervin Yen's proposed an amendment to the bill passed in a 20-23 vote.
As the bill reads now, anyone caught by law enforcement using an electronic device while driving can be pulled over and ticketed.
Currently, Oklahoma is one of six states without any type of anti-texting and driving ban.
2/11/15 Related Story: Oklahoma Teens Push For Texting While Driving Ban At State Capitol
“If you look at the data in other states when they pass an anti-texting while driving bill it does help. In my mind this is definitely the right thing to do,” said Senator Ervin Yen, Republican District 40.
“Drivers may not appreciate it but I think at some point it could potentially save a bunch of lives,” said Captain Paul Timmons, OHP.
The bill is actually named for two state troopers struck by a driver investigators said was distracted by his phone in January.
The amended bill will now go back to the House for approval.
“I'm optimistic that they will do the right thing,” said Senator Yen.
If made in to law, violators would face a fine of up to $100.
Earlier this year, Governor Fallin voiced her support for an anti-texting and driving law during the state of the state address.