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Tulsa mother implores Oklahoma lawmakers to ban texting while driving

A Tulsa mother of a 19-year-old who was killed in a car collision while talking on her cellphone urged Oklahoma lawmakers to pass a bill that would ban texting while driving.
BY MICHAEL MCNUTT Published: February 28, 2013

Jennifer Parrott, pediatric trauma program coordinator at The Children's Hospital at OU Medical Center, said she was texting three years ago when she crashed her vehicle, totaling it and two others. She and several others were injured.

“I've not only had trauma patients die in my care because of texting and driving but now I've also caused injury to myself and two of my other friends,” she said.

Parrott, 33, said she supported HB 1503.

“It's a no-brainer,” she said. “It's a dangerous, dangerous choice not to pass this law.”

Chuck Mai, with AAA Oklahoma, said a task force called Drive Aware Oklahoma has been formed to seek passage of the measure.

“Our motorists are scared to death of texting drivers,” he said.

Health Commissioner Terry Cline said texting while driving violates the basic drivers' education rules of motorists keeping their eyes on the road and their hands on the steering wheel.

“Somewhere along the line we've lost that,” he said, saying a driver is up to 23 times more likely to crash when texting.