Oklahoma’s Cellphone-Use & Texting-While-Driving Laws

Read about Oklahoma’s distracted driving laws and the costs of a violation.

Oklahoma’s distracted driving laws prohibit text messaging for all drivers and talking on a cellphone for only certain drivers. This article discusses the specifics of what the laws prohibit and the costs of a texting or cellphone ticket.

Texting Messaging

For all Oklahoma drivers, it’s illegal to use a handheld electronic communication device to manually compose, read, or send a text message while operating a motor vehicle that’s in motion. In other words, the law prohibits texting while driving.

Electronic communication devices. For purposes of the texting-while-driving statute, “electronic communication device” means any electronic device that permits the user to transmit text-based communications. The definition, however, does not include:

  • devices that are physically or electronically integrated into the vehicle
  • voice-operated GPS and navigation systems that are affixed to the vehicle
  • hands-free devices that allow the driver to write, send, or read text messages without the use of either hand (except to activate or deactivate a feature or function), or
  • ignition interlock devices (IIDs).

Exceptions. The texting ban doesn’t apply to electronic device use for the purpose of communicating in an emergency with:

  • an emergency response operator
  • a hospital, physician’s office, or health clinic
  • a provider of ambulance services
  • a provider of firefighter services, or
  • a law enforcement agency.

Fines. Generally, a texting ticket carries a maximum fine of $100. And no points are assessed to the convicted motorist’s driving record.

Cellphone and Texting Restrictions for Commercial Drivers

Commercial and public transit drivers are prohibited from texting and using a cellphone while driving.

Exceptions. The cellphone ban doesn’t apply to commercial drivers who use their phone as necessary to communicate with law enforcement or emergency services personnel. And the texting ban isn’t applicable to:

  • voice commands for purposes of making or receiving a call
  • inputting, selecting, or reading information on a GPS or navigation system, or
  • using a device for a purpose not prohibited.

Fines. A violation of the commercial driver cellphone and texting ban is a misdemeanor. Convicted drivers are looking at a $500 fine.

Other Possible Charges

Depending on the circumstances, a texting or cellphone violation could also lead to a reckless driving conviction. And if one of these violations results in the death of another person, vehicular homicide charges are a possibility.

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