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Oklahoma Texting Ban Bill Will Come Back Next Session

Brian Hardzinski

Several bills aimed at banning texting while driving have made their way partially through the Legislature each of the last five years but none have succeeded in making its way to Gov. Mary Fallin’s desk. 

At the forefront of those efforts, Rep. Jeannie McDaniel, who has been championing texting ban legislation for years, said Thursday she is hopeful a bill would make it through the process next session.

McDaniel, D-Tulsa, said last year she felt the state was regressing in its efforts to make such a law, but a change in leadership and some key opposition not returning next session may set the stage for approval of a texting ban. Rep. Fred Jordan, R-Jenks, heavily opposed the measure and is currently running for District Attorney in Tulsa. Former chairman of the House Public Safety Committee Rep. Steve Martin, R-Bartlesville, did not file for reelection.

McDaniel has consistently filed requests for interim studies on the matter but said she will not do so this year. Interim studies have been filed in the past, all from House Democrats but have never received a hearing.

“I do plan to file the bill again,” McDaniel said. “Though with an election year right now I didn’t know the chances of an interim study…the evidence is so compelling and it’s already there. I couldn’t justify doing a meeting and I’m not sure what new evidence I would have to show.”


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