On Sunday, Oregon's Districted Driving Law Goes into Effect. Be informed! Oregon Department of Transportation has provided an excellent summary, highlighting updates to Enrolled House Bill 2597, which says it is illegal to drive while holding or using an electronic device (e.g. cell phone, tablet, GPS, laptop). Beginning January 1, 2018, courts will have the ability to waive the fine for first-time offenders who attend an approved Distracted Driving Avoidance course. There are some exceptions, but for the most part, it’s best just to turn off your device when you are driving.
Here are a few cases where the new law does not apply:
Violations updated, too
A first offense that doesn’t contribute to a crash is a Class B violation with a maximum fine of $1,000. A second offense, or if the first offense contributes to a crash, is Class A violation with a maximum fine of $2,500. A third offense in ten years is a Class B misdemeanor and could result in a $6,250 fine and up to one year in jail.
For a first offense that does not contribute to a crash, the court may suspend the fine* if the driver completes an approved distracted driving avoidance class, and shows proof to the court, within four months. *Only the fine is suspended – the violation will still be recorded on the offender’s driving record.
“Distracted Driving” is a dangerous behavior for drivers, passengers, and non-occupants alike. Distraction is a specific type of inattention that occurs when drivers divert their attention from the driving task to focus on some other activity instead (per NHTSA).