Stop Reckless Lawmaking-Morgan’s HB 1316

Where is the emergency?

Kaye Beach

March 15, 2011

Rep. Morgan’s bill, HB 1316, banning texting while driving is scheduled to be heard on the House Floor.

Please call your Reps and tell them to vote NO on HB 1316

House Switchboard: (405) 521-2711 or (800) 522-8502

Find your Representative’s email address: (Unsure who your Representative is?  Click here and fill out the form in the lower left corner of the page.)

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:

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.” –State Police Sgt. Lance Cook, a former traffic law expert 

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.

Transportation Sec Ray Lahood suggests  “Maybe the police could take the phone when they stop you and see if you were texting,” link

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.

Here is the kind of thinking that knows no limits and produces bills like HB 1316;

“You almost have to put it out of control of the driver,” Rockefeller said. He said there needs to be “some kind of technology the FCC could come up with next week so as soon as you enter your car, texting will be disabled by some electronic impulse. I don’t know how else it gets done.”
This is do-gooder tyranny!  What will they protect us from next?

Fueled by incidents of distracted people stepping — or cycling — smack into vehicular traffic, the legislation would restrict or ban non-motorists from operating their mobile devices while navigating streets. link


Oklahoma 2011 House email addresses:;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;


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