State Rep. John Bennett (R-Sallisaw) said recently that a new law banning texting and driving was one of the top accomplishments during the 2015 legislative session. House Bill 1965, which takes effect in November, prohibits a person from operating a motor vehicle while texting, emailing or using instant messaging while the vehicle is in motion.
"This was overdue and sorely needed in order to protect Oklahomans on our roads and highways," Bennett said. "It's a primary offense which could result in an arrest if you are caught texting and driving. We had a state trooper killed due to an individual who was texting and driving. That really increased the support for the bill. I believe texting and driving is getting to be commonplace, out of control and very dangerous."
Bennett said there were several other public safety policy victories this year. House Bill 2014, which was signed into law, allows a designated school employee to carry a gun on school property, if the school district adopts the policy.
"Given all the school shootings and other tragic mass shootings, this bill will provide local school boards the ability to have some protection in the schools for our children in the event something happens," Bennett said.
House Bill 1902 provides immunity from civil liability to a person for damages resulting from the forcible entry of a motor vehicle for the purpose of removing a child from a motor vehicle.
"Unfortunately in today's society we have parents who neglect the well being of their children," Bennett said. "In some documented incidents parents have left their children in a hot car with temperatures soaring over 100 degrees so they can go shopping, drinking in a bar or gambling in a casino. This measure protects the citizens who forcibly enter a vehicle to save a child.
The new laws take effect in November.
Sally Maxwell, Senior News Director
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