Lawmakers Want Texting While Driving Stopped

Thursday, October 1st 2009, 7:56 am
By: News On 6

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- A two day summit in Washington, D.C. this week could lead to new rules and regulations regarding Driving While Intexticated in Oklahoma.

Lawmakers and highway safety officials are focusing on distracted drivers. Some members of Congress and at least one safety group are pushing for a nationwide ban on texting while driving by the year 2013.

Nearly 6,000 people were killed and a half-million injured last year in vehicle crashes connected to driver distraction.

7/31/2009 Related story: Driving While InTEXTicated: Cell Phone Driving Laws

Victim's families say they want a nationwide ban now.

"I ask people, can you follow the plot of a television show or a movie while you're talking on the phone? And virtually everybody says, no, I can't do that," Dave Teater, father.

U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood will be offering recommendations this week that could lead to new driving restrictions.

He is expected to urge a combination of strong laws, tough enforcement and on-going public education.

In Arkansas, they are not waiting on the federal government.

A new state law banning reading or writing text-messages and e-mails while driving takes effect Thursday.

They call it "Paul's Law. It's named after a father of three killed in a head-on crash with a driver writing a text message.