Law Proposed To End Text Messaging While Driving

Monday, January 19th 2009, 7:36 pm
By: News On 6

By Amy Lester, for News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Oklahoma could join 23 other states by passing a law to restrict text messaging while driving. There's a new push for this at the State Capitol.

The law would stop teens from texting while driving. A lawmaker and one mother said this will help teens drive down a safer road.

"It is a deadly weapon," Senator Debbe Leftwich (D) District 44 said. "It is absolutely a deadly weapon and teens don't realize that."

Senator Debbe Leftwich is talking about a vehicle, something we all drive every day, and if you don't steer with caution, you could end up in a bad car crash.

"What made me really want to do it is seeing people text all the time, swerving in and out of lanes all across the city," Leftwich said.

So Leftwich wrote a new bill this legislative session. It makes it illegal for teens 18-years-old or younger to write, send or read a text message while driving.

"We've got to get a message to them that while you're driving this is not the time to look down, not even for a second because those horrible fatal accidents, all it takes is one second," Leftwich said.

One family knows that all too well.

"I can't imagine anybody having to go through what my family's gone through the past two years," Gina Harris said.

Brittanie Montgomery, a dancer with the Hornet's Honeybees, was on her way to practice, talking on her cell phone, when she lost control, crashed her car and died.

"The community lost a very special, young lady because of technology," Brittanie's mother, Gina Harris, said.

Since that day, Brittanie's mother has used her daughter's memory to push for stricter cell phone laws. She applauds any lawmaker who takes on this issue.

"Brittanie was the type who wanted to make a difference and who wanted to help people that would do anything, including making a lot of noise to get it done," Harris said.

Both Brittanie's family and Senator Leftwich ask lawmakers to support the ban.

Other lawmakers have also written cell phone bills. One bill proposes banning texting for everyone while driving.