Commercial auto losses are on the rise, driven by an increase in medical and vehicle repair costs associated with accidents. An increasingly frequent cause of these crashes: distracted driving. In response to this epidemic, Oregon on October 1, 2017, implemented the Distracted Driving Law, which prohibits the use of electronic devices while operating a vehicle.
Washington state earlier in 2017 passed a very similar distracted driving law, which is detailed in the video below.
Oregon’s Distracted Driving Law
In Oregon, it is now illegal to drive while holding or using an electronic device
- October 1, 2017: is when the law goes into effect.
- January 1, 2018: is when the court has the option to waive the fine for first-time offenders who attend a Distracted Driving Avoidance course
First offense, not contributing to a crash: Class B violation
- Presumptive fine $260 (The amount on the ticket; if you don’t simply pay, it could go up or down)
- Minimum fine is $130; maximum fine is $1,000
Second offense, or first offense, if it contributed to a crash: Class A violation
- Presumptive Fine $435
- Minimum fine is $220; maximum is $2,500
Third offense in ten years: Class B misdemeanor
- Minimum fine $2,000
- Could be 6 months in jail
- When using hands-free or built-in devices, if you are 18 years of age or older
- Use of a single touch or swipe to activate or deactivate the device or a function.
- When parked safely, i.e., stopped in a designated parking spot. However, it is NOT legal to use the device when stopped at a stop light, stop sign, in traffic, etc.
- While providing or summoning medical help and no one else is available to make the call.
- To truck or bus drivers following the federal rules for Commercial Drivers License holders.
- When using a two-way radio if you are a CB user, school bus driver, utility truck driver in scope of employment.
- If you are a HAM radio operator age 18 years or older.