Oklahoma Bans Texting While Driving

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The National Safety Council applauds Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin and state lawmakers for enacting a statewide ban on texting while driving — a solid first step toward reducing crashes involving cell phone use. The Council now encourages lawmakers to go a step further and become the first state to totally ban all cell phone use — handheld and hands-free — behind the wheel. Employers across the state, including the City of Tulsa, have enacted total bans that can serve as blueprints for legislators, employers and local bodies to prevent more distracted driving crashes and save more lives.

"NSC estimates that cell phone use is involved in 1 out of every 4 car crashes," said Deborah A.P. Hersman, president and CEO of the National Safety Council. "Congratulations to both lawmakers and employers in Oklahoma for their leadership in making roads in the Sooner State safer."

On May 1, the City of Tulsa implemented a total ban policy for all employees driving city vehicles, though employees are exempt during public safety situations or life threatening events. Total ban policies not only help make the roads safer for all, but also help protect employers from being held liable when employees are involved in cell phone-related crashes.  

The National Safety Council developed a free Cell Phone Policy Kit to help organizations implement total cell phone ban policies. The kit includes research, tips for getting employee and executive buy-in and a policy roll-out calendar. Visit cellphonekit.nsc.org to download the kit.

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