Beginning November 1, it will be illegal to text, post on social media or email while driving in Oklahoma. This ban is extended in Tulsa, where city employees will no longer be able to use any mobile device while on the job and driving. The ban is intended to cover any mobile device, including hands-free models.
According to the National Safety Council (NSC), who conducted more than 30 studies on this issue, hands-free phones do not provide any safety benefit while driving.
The rationale behind the all-inclusive ban is that all mobile devices are a distraction, as use of any such device causes a cognitive disconnect (inattention) when driving. This disconnect is not just discernable when texting, but also when talking on the phone while driving. A driver’s mind goes to the conversation rather than focusing on the road. This is why hands-free phones are still a distraction, albeit a mental one.
Tulsa says city workers will be fired for violating the ban. City employees may not respond to work calls, emails or texts while in a city vehicle or in their own personal vehicle. This is the first all-inclusive ban in the U.S.