Date: January 14, 2010
Location: Portland, Oregon
They still may be a few hang ups surrounding the new cell phone law in Oregon.
Portland police cracked down on drivers using cell phones two weeks after Oregon’s hands-free cell phone law went into effect. The new law bans talking or texting while behind the wheel.
Police handed out 55 tickets during the day and afternoon shifts, Portland police told The Oregonian.
Violating the new law can be expensive, with a ticket costing the driver $142.
The Oregonian said some drivers were involved in riskier situations than others, like the driver who was swerving through traffic, phone to ear. Police caught another driver texting at a stop light. But regardless of the situation, it’s all against the law.
Drivers should also be aware that dialing a cell phone is considered “texting.” Hands-free mobile phone operation is allowed for drivers 18 and older, but drivers under 18 are not allowed to use cell phones at all.
More of these so-called “education missions” are scheduled for the month of January.
This long-overdue law will make the roads safer by reducing the number of distracted drivers on Oregon roads, and, we hope, cut down on accidents.
If someone chooses to text while driving, they don’t just endanger their own lives, they also endanger other drivers on the road who are being responsible. Just ask Peggy Tucker, whose daughter was killed when a driver talking on a cell phone hit her head-on. Peggy Tucker was in the Senate chamber when they were considering this legislation. When it passed, she thanked the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Tomei.
Too many accidents are caused by the inattention of drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians. Even if you’re not in a car, talking or texting on a cell phone can result in serious injury or death. Streets are not a good place to stop paying attention.
We hope that now that the “education” is over, police will start handing out the tickets. Maybe if the thought of hitting a pedestrian or cyclist doesn’t deter drivers, taking a hit to the wallet will.