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Oologah officials to consider cell phone ordinance

Updated:
OOLOGAH, Okla. (AP) _ Town officials here will consider a resolution on Monday asking the Oklahoma Legislature to revisit a law that prevents cities from controlling cellular phone use among motorists.

Mayor Jerry Holland, whose car was once rear-ended by a distracted driver using a cell phone, suggested in January that trustees consider an ordinance that would ban the use of cell phones while driving within Oologah.

The trustees directed town attorney Bill Higgins to draft such an ordinance, but Higgins found a stumbling block, Holland said.

``We found out the Legislature is apparently in bed with the cell phone industry,'' he alleged. ``They've put the industry's welfare before public safety.''

A statute pre-empts any orders, ordinances or regulations on cell phone usage.

``It was probably attached to some other bill and no one noticed,'' Holland said. ``Oklahoma politics as usual.''

Holland cited a study by the National Insurance Research Council that said talking on a cell phone while driving increases the likelihood of an accident.

``If implementing such a law would save one person from a serious injury or death, I believe it would be well worthwhile,'' he said.
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