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Texting while driving now against the law in Oklahoma

We all know that texting and driving is dangerous, but now it is also illegal. On November 1, a new law went into effect in Oklahoma making it against the law to "manually compose, send or read an electronic text message while the motor vehicle is in motion."

The law was proposed in response to a deadly accident that killed one Oklahoma Highway Patrol trooper and severely injured another. The two troopers were investigating an accident scene on Interstate 40 in January when they were hit by a driver, who was accused of texting at the time.

A spokesman for the Oklahoma Highway Patrol told News OK that troopers will immediately be looking for drivers who are breaking the new law. State police said they, too, have begun enforcement measures. Ultimately, if a trooper or police officer spots a driver who is texting, it will be enough to make a stop and issue a ticket.

The ticket will result in a fine of up to $100; however, the infraction will have no impact on a driver's traffic record.

The reason troopers are taking the law so seriously, the OHP spokesman said, is because they have witnessed first-hand how deadly the texting while driving trend has become.

The spokesman said there have been many fatal accidents involving one vehicle that have little explanation. Troopers believe texting while driving is often the cause. Texting while driving also causes many head-on collisions that leave innocent people seriously injured or killed.

The OHP spokesperson said there is hope that the new law will put an end to the deadly trend. The Oklahoma Public Safety commissioner said that the law is especially important to troopers and their families, who are often the victims of distracted driving accidents.

"Trooper Nic Dees never made it home to his family, just like dozens of other Oklahomans each year who are killed by distracted driving," the commissioner told the media. "Not only is texting while driving senseless, it is selfish."

As a law firm that represents distracted driving victims and their families, we can only hope that the law is successful at putting a stop to texting while driving. We all need to realize that no text is worth putting lives in jeopardy.

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