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. Thatâ€™s because a law modifying Oregonâ€™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 â€śin the scope of the personâ€™s employment if operation of the motor vehicle is necessary for the personâ€™s job.â€ť 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.