New Cell Phone Use Law Affects Drivers October 04, 2017

An amended cell phone law has taken effect as of October 1, 2017, under House Bill 2597.  Harsher fines and even a potential to be charged with a B Misdemeanor if convicted three times within 10 years are just a few of the new regulations under the amended House Bill.  Fines for the first offender could total $1000 but could be erased if the drivers take a state-approved Distracted Driving Avoidance class at their own expense. If a driver is operating a cell phone and they are involved in a traffic collision, even higher fines could be issued that may not be waived. The new law was enacted in an effort to lower traffic collisions and traffic deaths tolls caused by distracted drivers. 

“In Oregon, a crash caused by distracted driving occurs approximately every three hours” according to a report from the Oregon Department of Transportation’s distracted driving task force.  Nationwide, distracted drivers account for one in ten traffic fatalities and 18 percent of traffic injuries, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. House Bill 2597 also clarifies that driving while holding or using a cell phone, tablet, GPS or other devices for texting, talking, entertainment, navigation, writing emails or going online is, in fact, against the law. We can all do our part to help lower these staggering statics by staying off our cell phones while driving and to encourage our loved ones and friends to also put the phone down while driving. Remember no phone call, text, email, or message is worth your life or the life of another.