Jul 2018

Penalties for Distracted Driving on the Rise

As the issue of distracted driving continues to grow, Oregon is taking major steps to deter drivers from using their phones while on the road. The new plan will compound each instance so that incurring multiple infractions will be increasingly detrimental. The new guidelines are as follows.

The first offense that does not contribute to a crash will be a Class B violation, which entails a fine of up to $1,000. A second offense, or a first offense that results in an accident, is a Class A violation with a fine of up to $2,000. And three infractions within 10 years results in a Class B misdemeanor, which carries a fine of up to $2,500, a criminal record, and the possibility of up to 6 months in jail.

The law also differs for teen drivers. Drivers under 18 can’t use any electronic devices, even if they’re utilizing hands-free mode. Adults are allowed to use hands-free mode, but cannot use any features of the phone that require them to hold the device or touch the device beyond the one-touch to activate it. The rules apply to both moving and stationary vehicles. So just because you’re at a stop light or in stop-and-go traffic, don’t think you’re in the clear to start texting.

Police officers across the country have increased their efforts in monitoring drivers for phone use, both while moving and while stopped. And while these updates are currently an Oregon-based plan, it’s important for all of us to pay close attention as we can certainly expect other states to adjust the penalties for distracted driving.

If the dangers of distracted driving aren’t enough to prevent you from doing so, the increased penalties these new laws carry should be.

In regards to fleet drivers, EMKAY’s SafeRoads service will also act as a deterrent for your drivers. The service not only monitors driver behavior, but also scores them on four different dangerous driving habits, cell phone use being one. And a good thing about the SafeRoads program is that it’s a deterrent that doesn’t entail thousands of dollars in fines and the potential for a criminal record and jail time.