New Law to Curtain Some Distracted Driving


2017 Legislature Updates Oregon’s Distracted Driving Law

Effective October 1, 2017, Oregon law makes it illegal to drive while holding or using an electronic device (e.g. cell phone, tablet, GPS, laptop).

Here are a few cases where the new law does not apply:

• When using hands-free or built-in devices, if you are 18 years of age or older.

• Use of a single touch or swipe to activate or deactivate the device.

• When parked safely, i.e., stopped in a designated parking spot. However, it is NOT legal to use the device when stopped at a stop light, stop sign, in traffic, etc.

• While providing or summoning medical help and no one else is available to make the call.

• Tow truck or bus drivers following the federal rules for CDL holders.

• When using a two-way radio if you are a CB user, school bus driver, utility truck driver in scope of employment.

• If you are a HAM radio operator age 18 years or older.

A first offense (that doesn’t contribute to a crash) has a maximum fine of $1,000. The court may suspend the fine if the driver completes an approved distracted driving avoidance class, and shows proof to the court, within four months. Only the fine is suspended – the violation will still be recorded on the offender’s driving record.

A second offense (or if the first offense contributes to a crash) has a maximum fine of $2,500.

A third offense in ten years is a Class may result in a maximum fine of $2,500 fine and possibly 6 months in jail.

For more information visit the following links:

• Hang Up and Drive (KFN) -

• HB 2597 FULL -

• HB 2597 SUMMARY -