Mourning father fights against texting while driving in Arizona

Robert Okerblom still wonders what happened on July 25 2009, when a woman who was texting while driving killed his son.  A year and a half later, is using his unfortunate story in hope of helping two Arizona State Capitol senators to pass bills against texting while driving.

Sen. Al Melvin is sponsoring SB 1538, commonly known as the No Texting While Driving Act, which is looking to ban drivers from composing, reading and sending text messages from an electronic device while driving.  Violators could face fines from $50 to $200.  Rep. Steve Farley is going a step further with HB 2426 which would ban drivers under the age of 18 from using a cell phone in an operating vehicle. 

For Mr Okerblom, drivers are unaware of the dangers they are exposing themselves to.

“People have the belief that their texting is an innocent thing and they won’t get into trouble,” said Mr. Okerblom. “I think the whole country needs to come further with regulating this behavior.”

A similar bill to ban texting while driving received approval in the Senate last year, but could not go through in the House.

Sen. Melvin’s bill is now facing a vote in the Senate, while Rep. Farley’s bill will soon be presented to House Transportation Committee.

Source: AZ Central, March 7, 2011

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