Beginning July 1, distracted driving penalties in Oregon will start adding up. Distracted driving is already exacting a high price – with fatalities and serious injuries occurring regularly in crashes where a driver is distracted – and now the cost for the driver may go even higher.
Offenses under the state’s distracted driving law will begin counting toward elevated sanctions beginning July 1. Here’s how the penalties can add up:
• First offense, not contributing to a crash: Class B violation, with a fine up to $1,000.
• Second offense, or first offense, if it contributed to a crash: Class A violation, with a fine up to $2,500.
• Third offense in ten years: Class B misdemeanor, with a fine up to $2,500 and potential for 6 months in jail.
Not being fully focused on the complex task of driving can have disastrous results. From 2012-2016 in Oregon, there were 10,814 crashes involving a distracted driver, resulting in 70 fatalities and 16,503 injuries.
This year, in unofficial numbers, Oregon has had 172 fatalities, up 17.8% from the same time last year. While we don’t yet know the factors that contributed to these crashes, anecdotal information indicates many of these involved vehicles traveling out of their lane – and that can be the result of drivers being distracted.
For more information about distracted driving, please read the full ODOT news release
and visit the following webpages.