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Oklahoma State Senate
Communications Division
State Capitol
Oklahoma City, OK 73105

For Immediate Release: May 5, 2015

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Sen. Ervin Yen
Sen. Ervin Yen

Sen. Yen comments on texting ban becoming law

Sen. Ervin Yen was among several lawmakers who filed legislation this session to ban texting while driving. Yen, a cardiac anesthesiologist, was successful in amending the final bill approved by both chambers to make the ban of hand-held electronic devices while driving enforceable as a primary offense. Yen, R-Oklahoma City, issued the following statement after Gov. Mary Fallin signed House Bill 1965 into law.

“I think making Oklahoma’s texting ban enforceable as a primary offense will make a huge difference, and research backs that up. A study released last year by the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Public Health looked at the texting bans that were on the books around the country and found states with primary-enforcement laws saw an overall reduction of three percent in traffic fatalities. For young drivers between 15 and 21, there was an 11 percent reduction in fatalities. That’s huge. But states that only had secondary enforcement saw virtually no change. Primary enforcement saves lives.

“This was simply the right thing to do for the people of this state. I want to thank my fellow members in the Senate and in the House for supporting this ban as a primary offense, and I want to thank Governor Fallin for signing it into law. I believe this will save lives.”—Sen. Ervin Yen, R-Oklahoma City.

For more information, contact:
Sen. Yen: 405-521-5543

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