New Oklahoma law: No handheld devices while driving - KOAM TV 7

New Oklahoma law: No handheld devices while driving


Police in Oklahoma want you to know about a new law that takes effect November 1st.  Right now, drivers under the age of 18 can be ticketed if they text while drive.  The new law, though, will not only pertain to texting while driving of anyone of any age, but distracted driving from a handheld device.

Think about smart phones, and how seemingly smart they've become to be part of our lives.

"It's not just a phone anymore.  It's their life.  That's the best I can equate it to.  It's, everything they do is right there on their phone," says Miami Police Chief Thomas Anderson.

People plus phones can equal people using those phones while driving.

"It's hard not to, when your phone is going off like crazy," says Miami driver Johnny Kuikendall.

"I get in trouble all the time with my kids, and my parents," says Miami driver Dashanda Kinsey.

Chief Thomas says about 40 percent of the accidents in Miami involve distracted driving.

"It's substantial.  It is a high number," says Thomas.

There's a new law in Oklahoma that's going to be enforced November 1st.

"And that's the misconception, it's the 'texting law,'" says Thomas.

Chief Anderson says it's the distracted driving law, and encompasses what you would probably gather from its name.  

You text and drive, you could get a ticket.

"I think it's legit.  They need to pass something," says Kuikendall.

If you use your phone to navigate while driving, you could get a ticket.

"The texting law is good, but the navigation law is crazy," says Kinsey.

But Chief Anderson says here's part of what it all comes down to:  Enter data into your phone when you're not driving.

"The discretion by officers is paramount in this case," says Thomas.

Police know the navigation apps help people get places.  But whether it be the phone, or any other handheld device, don't let them contribute to a $100 distracted driving ticket.

"Be it a text message, a Facebook message, a phone call, whatever it is, we want you to pay attention to the road first," says Chief Thomas.

It's getting back to the basics of driving, in a world that's advancing almost every minute.

Miami's police chief says his officers will also be expected to not enter data into their laptops or other electronic devices while driving.


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