The Republican-controlled Legislature has annually quashed efforts to ban texting for all drivers, something now on the books in 39 states. Oklahoma restricts texting by new teen drivers, but no others. Lawmakers have not been swayed by reports such as one by the U.S. Department of Transportation that found drivers who text — not just teens, but all drivers — are 23 times more likely to be involved in a crash than drivers who aren't texting.
Many lawmakers see anti-texting laws as anti-freedom laws, and note that drivers in Oklahoma can already be cited for inattentive driving. It's a mindset that needs to change. Whether that change occurs in 2013 remains to be seen.