Know B4 U Go long has been a slogan used to encourage motorists to plan their routes before leaving home or work to ensure they arrive safely at their destination. Now the Oklahoma Department of Transportation is taking that advice a step further by encouraging all motorists to Text B4 U Go ahead of a new statewide texting while driving ban taking effect Nov. 1.
Oklahoma becomes the 46th state to ban texting while driving. Law enforcement will be able to pull over drivers who are texting on their cell phones behind the wheel and issue a $100 fine after the Trooper Nicholas Dees and Trooper Keith Burch Act of 2015 takes effect.
In 2013, more than 153 billion text messages were sent every month in the U.S., according to distraction.gov. And clearly given the volume of texts, many are sent while behind the wheel. In fact, about 660,000 drivers are using cell phones or other electronic devices while driving at any given daylight moment across the nation. Each of those drivers is risking not only their life but that of their passengers and others sharing the roadway.
Distracted driving was the cause of 3,154 deaths in 2013 across the U.S. and resulted in 424,000 injuries that same year.
There are many reasons why texting while driving is unsafe. For example:
Younger drivers are disproportionately distracted while driving, according to federal statistics. Drivers in their 20s make up 27 percent of the distracted drivers involved in fatality crashes, reports distracted.gov.
This public service announcement sponsored by the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety, the Oklahoma Department of Transportation and the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration highlights just how fast an accident caused by inattentiveness can happen, forever altering multiple lives.
Here's how you can take action: Print out the distracted driving pledge from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, sign it and keep it in your vehicle or someplace where you will see it every day before driving.
And if you need a reminder of the Nov. 1 law, listen to this public service announcement about the texting ban:
Public Safety Commissioner Michael C. Thompson, Cabinet Secretary for Safety and Security
To listen to all 10 announcements, check them out on ODOT's YouTube page.
The department and its partners want to thank drivers who take this message to heart. Saving lives isn't possible without the efforts of drivers statewide paying attention to this issue.