Distracted Driving Law Makes Driving While Holding Phone Illegal

Distracted Driving Law Makes Driving While Holding Phone Illegal

BEND, Ore. – Since the invention of smartphones, it’s not uncommon for everyone to drive while texting, shopping, checking Facebook or more but the reality is that distracted driving comes with a BIG COST and thousands of lives have been lost. This is why the State of Oregon has now made distracted driving illegal as of 10/1/2017 and you cannot drive in Oregon while holding a mobile phone or electronic device.

Distracted Driving Oregon

About The Distracted Driving Law

Set a reminder on your phone now if you’re not behind the wheel: Oregon’s new distracted driving law takes effect Oct. 1.

With it comes a stricter ban on cellphone use while driving and higher fines, which escalate for repeat offenders.

House Bill 2597, passed by the Legislature and signed by the governor earlier this year, corrects a glaring loophole in Oregon’s hands-free law.

The earlier version, enacted in 2009, required drivers to use a hands-free device to make phone calls and banned texting while driving. But according to some interpretations — most importantly that of the Oregon Court of Appeals — it left drivers free to play Angry Birds or program a navigation app while driving, as long as they weren’t calling or texting.

The new law prohibits drivers from using any function of the phone that requires holding or touching.

Drivers may activate or deactivate a function on the phone, but the Oregon Department of Transportation said that should be limited to a single touch or swipe.

Q: Can I use a navigation app or play music while driving?

A: The new law specifically calls out uses like texting, phone calls, email and yes, entertainment and navigation.

But that doesn’t mean navigation or music apps are forbidden — just that drivers be able to use them while, for the most part, keeping both hands on the wheel.

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