Oklahoma Senate rejects phone ban for teen drivers

Mar 13, 2012

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The Oklahoma Senate has rejected a proposal that would have prevented teenagers from using cell phones while driving

The Senate voted 22-20 on Tuesday for the bill by Tulsa Republican Brian Crain, falling short of the 25 votes needed for passage.

The measure would have prohibited drivers younger than 18 from using any "hand-held electronic device while operating a motor vehicle," except in the case of a life-threatening emergency.

Crain says his hope was that the bill would reduce the number of fatalities and injuries that result from young drivers being distracted by cell phones and other devices.

But Oklahoma City Republican Sen. Steve Russell debated against the measure, saying it's a first step toward taking away individual rights.