After Washington legislature passed tougher distracted driving legislation, our neighboring state also passed harsher laws. On July 1st, the new rules finally go into effect.
Oregon drivers will be subject to $1,000 fines for a first-time distracted driving offenses. Drivers who are stopped a second time or whose distraction leads to an accident may face a $2,500 fine.
According to Oregon Department of Transportation officials, these high fines are meant to serve as a warning to drivers. The message of safety is important and worth it, they say. And focusing on the wheel and on driving should come first. That’s why the threat of high fines should serve as a deterrent.
They say that since last year, fatal crashes increased 17.8 percent. And distracted driving is to blame.
On top of the high fines, repeat offenders could end up going to jail. Only emergency personnel on duty and bus school drivers are allowed to use two-way radios while driving.
Whether you’re a Washington driver or a driver from another state, beware of the changes to the traffic rules. Distracted driving leads to accidents. And accidents can result in injuries.
While you should be concerned about the fines, you should also be concerned about safety. Yours and others’.
Distracted driving is a serious problem in most U.S. states. In Washington, we continue to see an increase in accident rates because of distraction. We are glad that Oregon has joined Washington and other states in toughening distracted driving laws. Now, we simply hope more drivers will take heed and put their phones down.
We also hope drivers are not becoming involved in any other activities that amount to distracted driving.
For more information on Oregon’s new laws and what officials are saying, click here.