OK Family Of Crash Victim Raises Awareness Of Distracted Driving

Friday, March 1st 2013, 4:57 pm
By: News 9

An Oklahoma family is hoping to bring more awareness to the growing problem of distracted drivers in our state.

Brandi Gibson is the Director of University Counseling at Oklahoma City University and she lost her daughter, Emily, in an accident on I-235 just south of I-44 in Oklahoma City. The 20-year old was on her way home when she took a sharp curve and hit a concrete wall. Brandi says her daughter was on a cell phone.

"When police arrived they found the phone on the floor board and the guy she was talking to was still on the phone trying to get her attention," Gibson said.

The frustrated mother is working with others to host a fundraiser in hopes of bringing more attention to the problem.

"We want to keep our kids safe, keep our roads safe and we've got to find a way to do that," said Gibson.

The event on March 9 is called the "Oklahoma City University Run to Stop 5K." She said there will be demonstrations that will help the public understand just how dangerous distracted driving can be.

A portion of the money raised will go to the No Texting Zone campaign.

Learn more about the campaign

A proposal to ban texting while driving in Oklahoma was derailed this week in a Republican-controlled House committee amid concerns it jeopardizes personal freedoms and would be difficult to enforce.

One day after supporters of the ban rallied at the Capitol, the House Calendar Committee on Thursday tabled the bill by Smithville Democratic Rep. Curtis McDaniel.

McDaniel says the bill still could be brought to the floor for a vote and he's urging supporters to lobby members of the committee to let it out, saying "We're dealing with people's lives here."

House Speaker T.W. Shannon said Thursday he's among the opponents of the proposal because he's concerned about how such a ban would be enforced and that distracted driving already is illegal in Oklahoma, but Gibson says that law isn't enough. She would like to see more action when it comes texting and driving - and all other forms of distracted driving.

"I actually got bumped the other day on Lake Hefner by a woman who was eating a breakfast burrito. It's everywhere. Everyone is affected by it. No one is immune to it. So yeah it's very frustrating to see someone is doing something else and not paying attention to the road," Gibson said.