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Senate Approves Ban on Texting While Driving (Mar 16, 2011)

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Texting while driving would be illegal in Oklahoma under a bill approved in the state Senate.

The Senate voted 32-9 on Wednesday for the proposal by Sen. Jerry Ellis, D-Valliant, over the objections of some senators who say enforcement of the ban would pose a problem for police.

Ellis cited research that shows motorists who send text messages while driving are much more likely to be in an accident.

Under his plan, first-time offenders could face a fine of up to $175, while a second violation could lead to fines of up to $500. Fines could be doubled if texting motorists are involved in a collision.

The bill, which now heads to the House, includes exemptions for emergency, medical and law enforcement personnel.

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