Legislative Lu Lu Alert! Texting Ban Bill goes to Committee Wed March 3rd

Kaye Beach

Feb 28, 2011

Rep. Morgan’s bill, HB 1316, banning texting while driving will be heard in the Public Safety Committee on Wed. March 3 at 10:30 am at the Oklahoma State Capitol in Room 432A. (Located on the 4th floor of the OK. State Capitol)

Committee meetings are open to the public and present a very good opportunity to see lawmaking in action. (Be warned-the old adage about watching the sausage making does apply!)

We should not support this bill because it is simply poor lawmaking.  Read more about why in Oklahoma Legislative Lu Lu’s

The major problems with HB 1316:

Question? Do we need a law that would make it illegal NOT to read a newspaper while driving?  I’m sure you probably saw someone doing it, and I assure you, it is illegal.  You see, there are already laws against driving while distracted.

HB 1316 is not necessary.  There are already several laws on the books that already cover distracted driving.

  • Minors are already prohibited by law from using their cell phone while driving.
  • Oklahoma law mandates that every driver give full attention to the act of driving
  • Oklahoma law allows law enforcement officers to stop and cite (100 dollar fine) inattentive drivers not limited to the source of the distraction.

HB 1316 is not enforceable and will burden law enforcement

“The bottom line is, we had enough laws on the books to handle the results of bad driving from text messaging, eating a burger or changing the radio station anyway,” Cook said. “And to just keep enumerating new distractions to outlaw don’t really give us any new tools.” link

Law enforcement would be asked to enforce this law while being denied the legal and technological tools necessary to do so. According to law enforcement:

  • The only way to prove that a person was texting while driving is by accessing the data on the cell phone.
  • Without there being some crime committed, officers do not have probable cause to access that data.

30 states have passed laws specifically banning texting while driving and police are complaining that they have written few if any tickets because law is very hard to enforce.  What police say they are doing instead is issuing tickets for distracted driving, a law that was already in effect before the texting ban was issued. Link.

HB 1316 is incomplete.

  • It will require future additional measures to be implemented in order for law enforcement to have the ability to actually enforce HB 1316 should it become law.
  • The additional measures it will take to make HB 1316 a viable law open up a whole other legal can of worms relating to the Fourth Amendment which protects us from unreasonable search and seizure.

In a nutshell, HB 1316 is a cure that is worse than the disease!

HB 1316 is a bad bill.  Please contact the members of the Public Safety Committee and let them know that they should vote NO on HB 1316.

The Members of the Public Safety Committee

Rep. Sue Tibbs, 405-557-7379     suetibbs@okhouse.gov
Rep. Steve Martin, 405-557-7402 stevemartin@okhouse.gov
Rep. John Bennet, 405-557-7315 john.bennett@okhouse.gov
Rep. Ed Cannaday, 405-557-7375 ed.cannaday@okhouse.gov
Rep. Josh Cockroft, 405-557-7349 josh.cockroft@okhouse.gov
Rep. Doug Cox, 405-557-7415      dougcox@okhouse.gov
Rep.Tommy Hardin, 405-557-7383 tommy.hardin@okhouse.gov
Rep. Chuck Hoskin 405-557-7319  chuck.hoskin@okhouse.gov
Rep. Fred Jordan 405-557-7331     fred.jordan@okhouse.gov
Rep. Charlie Joyner 405-557-7314 charlie.joyner@okhouse.gov
Rep. Al McAffrey 405-557-7396      al.mcaffrey@okhouse.gov
Rep. Pat Ownbey 405-557-7326     pat.ownbey@okhouse.gov
Rep. Pam Peterson 405-557-7341 pampeterson@okhouse.gov
Rep. Brian Renegar 405-557-7381 brian.renegar@okhouse.gov
Rep. Paul Roan 405-557-7308        paulroan@okhouse.gov
Rep.Todd Thomsen 405-557-7336 todd.thomsen@okhouse.gov
Rep.Steve Vaughan 405-557-7355 steve.vaughan@okhouse.gov

(To send a group email copy and paste the group below:
suetibbs@okhouse.gov, stevemartin@okhouse.gov, john.bennett@okhouse.gov, ed.cannady@okhouse.gov, josh.cockroft@okhouse.gov, dougcox@okhouse.gov, tommy.hardin@okhouse.gov, chuck.hoskin@okhouse.gov, fred.jordan@okhouse.gov, charlie.joyner@okhouse.gov, al.mcaffrey@okhouse.gov, pat.ownbey@okhouse.gov, pampeterson@okhouse.gov, brian.renegar@okhouse.gov, paulroan@okhouse.gov, todd.thomsen@okhouse.gov, steve.vaughan@okhouse.gov )

Contact House members at 1-800-522-8502, or 405-521-2711

Here is the entire agenda for the Public Safety Committee meeting on Wed.

When: Wednesday, March 02, 2011 10:30 AM
Where: ROOM 432A
1. Welcome and Introductions
2. HB1061 – Motor vehicles; use of flashing red and blue lights – Sanders*
3. HB1229 – Motor vehicles; escort vehicle requirement – Ownbey*
4. HB1235 – Adding pseudoephedrine to Schedule III – Sherrer*
5. HB1255 – Authorizing United States Attorneys to carry firearm under certain circumstances – Rousselot*
6. HB1316 – Motor vehicles; using electronic communication devices while driving – Morgan, Tibbs, Brown, Cannaday, Condit, Denney, Glenn, Liebmann, McDaniel (Jeannie), Pittman, Shumate*
7. HB1352 – Death investigation; next of kin request cause of death – McAffrey*
8. HB1485 – Commissioner of Public Safety attempt to negotiate certain compacts – Roberts (Dustin), Blackwell*
9. HB1637 – Clarifying procedure for serving arrest warrant – Ortega*
10. HB1652 – Concealed handguns; deleting technology center schools from list of prohibited places – Enns*
11. HB1690 – Clarifying who may carry firearms – Russ*
12. HB1796 – Legislative referendum; open carry of firearms – Tibbs*
13. HB1797 – Motor vehicles; commercial driver licenses – Tibbs*
14. HB1849 – Prompt death investigations – Blackwell*
15. HB2087 – Crimes and punishments; concealed carry on college campuses – Terrill*
16. HB2120 – Modifying Corporation Commission duties – Hickman*
17. Other business and adjournment

One response to “Legislative Lu Lu Alert! Texting Ban Bill goes to Committee Wed March 3rd

  1. the bill is horid ! The idea is to use it against the people as usual. Hey here’s a concept , perhaps teach people to drive better with these devices that have been brow beat into the american consciouness . They are responsible for helping to hook people into , all this junk wireless stuff. They bare most of the responsibilty in creating freak users. So we are against creation of the law , we are in favor of better skills in driving if one must use them . What did all yall do back in the day without the texting .. We still drove with radios with nobs , cb’s, coffee , tea, women who put makeup on while driving , us guys shaving … the world goes on … we don’t need evil laws to trap the americans and get them in the system …. We the people don’t except these horid stripping of rights … ~ cowboymav~

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