Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73105
For Immediate Release: February 17, 2011
Sen. Jerry Ellis
Senate committee approves ban on texting while driving
The Senate Public Safety Committee has given approval to legislation
to ban texting while driving. State Sen. Jerry
Ellis is the author of Senate Bill 146 which was approved by
the committee on Thursday.
“Many people I’ve talked to have seen a near miss or
accident that involved someone not paying attention to the road
because they were texting while driving,” said Ellis, D-Valliant.
“Just since filing this bill I’ve heard from people
who’ve been involved in wrecks because of texting and driving.”
Numerous reports have outlined the dangers of texting while driving.
A study conducted by the Virginia
Tech Transportation Institute found texting while driving makes
a person 23 times more likely to be in a collision. The University
of Utah conducted research that found people who were texting were
just as impaired as drunk drivers.
“This behavior puts everyone on the road at risk. A ban on
texting while driving could help save lives,” Ellis said.
Under the legislation, first-time offenders would face a fine of
up to $175. Subsequent violations could result in a fine of up to
$500. If the driver is involved in a crash at the time of violation,
the fine would be double those amounts.
Ellis said the ban would apply to all drivers, regardless of age,
with exceptions for emergency and medical personnel or law enforcement.
There is an exception for drivers who are using a wireless telecommunication
to report illegal activity, summon emergency help or to prevent
injury to a person or
SB 146 now moves to the full Senate for approval.
For more information contact:
Sen. Ellis: (405) 521-5614