On July 1, 2018, fines for distracted driving citations in Oregon significantly increased. The law first took effect on October 1, 2017 and carried fines of $260.00 for the first offense, $435 for the second offense and $2,000 plus potential jail time for the third offense. The fines were increased to $1,000.00 for the first offense, $2,500 for the second offense and $2,500 plus a potential of 6 months jail for the third offense.
The distracted driving law makes it illegal for drivers to hold electronic devices, including cell phones, tablets and GPS units while they are driving. Additionally, despite widespread belief to the contrary, use of a cell phone or other device is not permitted while stopped at a red light or other traffic control device. Instead, your vehicle must be safely parked prior to any usage of such device. “Hands-free” functions, such as Bluetooth, headsets and speakerphone, are still permitted under the law.
Unfortunately, car accidents involving distracted driving are much too common in Oregon and the Willamette Valley. These collisions are often devastating to those people injured and their families. Hopefully the increased fines for distracted driving will help to diminish the amount of distracted driving accidents in our community – and keep us all safer on the roads.