Anyone Have Rep. T.W. Shannon’s Cell Phone Number?
Oklahoma is one of only nine states that has no law specifically outlawing text messaging while driving. That should change.
We take pride here in the Sooner State for walking to the beat of a different drummer than the rest of the nation. However, this is one instance when Oklahoma should catch up with the crowd. It takes at least one hand and one eye to tap out a text message; common sense suggests that a driver should keep both eyes on the road and both hands on the wheel.
Oklahoma does have a state law prohibiting “inattentive driving.” However, the law does not allow a citation unless an accident occurs or an officer observes dangerous driving. In other words, if an officer sees you texting while driving but your driving does not appear to be posing an immediate threat to anyone else, that officer is not authorized to pull you over.
Nine no-texting bills were introduced in the Oklahoma House in the past session. None of them were allowed to come to a vote.
Organizations that support an Oklahoma texting-while-driving ban include AAA Oklahoma, Farmers Insurance, Oklahoma Safety Council, the State Department of Health, the state Department of Public Safety, Oklahoma Highway Safety Office, AT&T and SAFE KIDS Oklahoma State.
Who’s against it? Rep. T.W. Shannon, a Republican from Lawton, who as Speaker of the House has repeatedly failed to allow such measures to come to a vote.
On Shannon’s website, he indicates that he is responsive to the voice of the people.
“It helps when you are in the community you grew up in. The decisions you make, it affects real people. People that you shop with, that you grew up with. They’re not reserved about telling you what they think. If I make a decision they don’t like, I get a call on my cell phone.”
I think it’s time to send Rep. Shannon a message about texting while driving. Anyone have his cell phone number?