- Associated Press - Wednesday, November 2, 2016

TULSA, Okla. (AP) - Tulsa police say a modest number of citations have been issued in the first year after Oklahoma banned texting and driving.

The police department issued 75 citations between Nov. 1, 2015, and September, according to the Tulsa World (https://bit.ly/2fe3UD6 ).

“That’s for the whole police department. We’re doing 10,000 tickets a month - so 75 over a year? I would say it’s underwhelming,” said Tulsa Police Cpl. Steve Wood. “But I guess that’s open to interpretation.”

The ban, which carries a $100 fine, covers texting and sending emails. Drivers are allowed to text while their vehicle is stopped, such as at a red light. The language in the measure does not cover GPS, phone calls or music player use.

Wood said the ban is difficult to enforce. He said if a driver denies using a phone for an action forbidden by the law, there isn’t much an officer can do.

Police Sgt. Shane Tuell said there isn’t a proactive way to seek out people breaking the ban, but he said the law was overdue. In the previous law, the driver texting needed to either be involved in a crash or violate an additional rule of the road in order to be cited under the city’s inattentive-driving code.

Wood said that while he isn’t against the texting-and-driving ban, he would like to see a stricter law allowing officers to cite drivers for all forms of distracted driving.


Information from: Tulsa World, https://www.tulsaworld.com

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