SHAWNEE, Oklahoma - State Senator Ron Sharp of Shawnee has filed proposed legislation to strengthen an anti-texting law approved by lawmakers in 2015 that would prohibit the use of any handheld mobile device while behind the wheel.

Sharp says while the "Trooper Nicholas Dees and Trooper Keith Burch Act" has helped decrease the number of texting and driving accidents, but more needs to be done.

“Drivers are still getting distracted by their phones and other electronic devices and there’s no reason to be using them while driving except in emergencies. This bill will make our roads safer and protect Oklahomans from hurting themselves or others by keeping them focused on the road,” said Senator Ron Sharp. 

Senator Sharp says the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety has released data shows that since November 1st of 2015, accidents and fatalities have been reduced by 30 percent. 

If approved by the legislature, Senate Bill 44 would go into effect November 1st, 2017.