'Distracted Drivers' Increase Dangers On Oklahoma Roads - NewsOn6.com - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - KOTV.com |

'Distracted Drivers' Increase Dangers On Oklahoma Roads

Posted: Updated:
Law enforcement is pushing the dangers of texting while driving, especially to young drivers. Law enforcement is pushing the dangers of texting while driving, especially to young drivers.
On Friday, 350 teenagers stood in silence watching a mock accident at Metro Christian Academy. The scene involved a young man drinking and texting while driving. On Friday, 350 teenagers stood in silence watching a mock accident at Metro Christian Academy. The scene involved a young man drinking and texting while driving.
Kristine Mertes was hit head on by a texting driver four years ago and nearly died. Kristine Mertes was hit head on by a texting driver four years ago and nearly died.
TULSA, Oklahoma -

Law enforcement is pushing the dangers of texting while driving, especially to young drivers. But it's certainly not just young people; plenty of adults check email, text and talk while they're driving too.

There's a paradox in Oklahoma, being distracted while driving isn't against the law, unless a driver gets into an accident.

On Friday, 350 teenagers stood in silence watching a mock accident at Metro Christian Academy. The scene involved a young man drinking and texting while driving. He caused an accident that killed somebody and was arrested, while the dead boy's parents were devastated.

While it was made up, the reality of distracted driving is that it led to 11,000 accidents in Oklahoma in 2012. Over 700 people were hurt and 10 died.

Texting while driving is not illegal in Oklahoma, one of just seven states where it's not.

"Whenever we saw people getting behind the wheel drinking and driving, we passed a law to stop that. Texting and driving is just as bad and we need our legislators to realize that," said Daniel Karnes with AAA Oklahoma.

AAA Oklahoma lobbied lawmakers for a ban on texting again this year and, again, it failed.

"If we had a new law that targeted just that they were on a phone, that would help," said Tulsa Police Officer, Craig Murray.

Police officers and state troopers describe distracted drivers as a growing threat to everyone else on the road. They've seen what can happen first hand.

So has Kristine Mertes, who was hit head on by a texting driver four years ago and nearly died.

"It all amounts to people not paying attention to their driving and being able to assess their surroundings," Mertes said.

Read Proposed Bill To Ban Texting In School Zones

This small group of teenagers might have gotten the message, but officers worry just as much about the grownups who spend so much time with electronic devices behind the wheel.

As it is now, distracted driving is against the law, but officers can only stop someone for it if they break another law in the process.

The only ban on texting still being considered is one on texting while driving in school zones.

Special Features

Live Traffic

Get the latest road conditions on Green Country roadways.

iPhone App

Get breaking news, weather, sports & video directly on your iPhone.

CBS Shows

Watch your favorite CBS shows for free online.

Links

Looking for a website or event you heard mentioned on News On 6? Find it here!

TV Schedule

Need to know what's on TV? Check out our television schedule.

Live Radar

WARN Interactive

Special Coverage

  • Bridge Tracker

    How safe are Oklahoma's bridges? Use Bridge Tracker to find out now.

  • Fallen Heroes

    News On 6 honors our fallen Oklahoma heroes. View our interactive timeline.

  • Murrah Bombing Timeline

    Learn more about the events leading up to and following the bombing.

  • Storm Zone

    Watch tornadoes tear across Oklahoma and learn how to stay safe!

Powered by Frankly
News On 6
303 N. Boston Ave.
Tulsa, OK 74103
Newson6.com is proud to provide Oklahomans with timely and relevant news and information, sharing the stories, pictures and loves of Oklahomans across our great state.
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2017 KOTV. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.