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Cell Phone Users Beware


Don’t be one of those drivers who slips a phone call in here and there while driving. You should know that you have few if any excuses left after Jan. 1, 2012. That’s because a law modifying Oregon’s ban on cell phone use went into effect in an attempt to increase safety on our roads.

For most drivers, it is already against the law to use a hand-held cell phone while driving in Oregon. The original law, however, allowed cell phone use “in the scope of the person’s employment if operation of the motor vehicle is necessary for the person’s job.” That exemption is removed with House Bill 3186 effective Jan. 1, 2012, so that the only drivers allowed to use a hand-held mobile communications device are those over 18 who are:

  • operating a roadside assistance or tow vehicle or
  • operating a utility vehicle for the purpose of servicing a utility.

In addition, the bill outlaws texting for all drivers. In essence, as of Jan. 1, it will be illegal for nearly everyone to use a cell phone and/or text while driving, unless it is a hands-free device (no exemptions for drivers under age 18). The violation is a Class D offense, with a new base rate, effective Jan. 1, 2012, of $110.

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