The Oklahoma Highway Patrol and the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety have created several radio announcements to publicize the Trooper Nicholas Dees and Keith Burch Act, which goes into effect Nov. 1. This law will make texting while driving illegal in the state of Oklahoma.
Trooper Nicholas Dees and Keith Burch were hit Jan. 31 of this year while they were investigating a collision involving an overturned semi on I-40 in Seminole County.
Dees was pronounced dead at the scene. Burch was critically injured, and the driver of the semi received minor injuries. The driver of the vehicle that struck the troopers, Steven Wayne Clark, was charged with manslaughter after it was revealed that he was updating his social media page at the time of the wreck, passing barriers and ignoring directions to drive in another lane.
The new law prohibits texting, emailing or using instant messaging while driving.
Dees' widow, Brandy Dees, spearheaded the effort to make texting while driving illegal in the state.
"I'm not angry," she said. "I just feel it could have been prevented. Maybe we can save someone else's life."