Strict “hands-free” bill passes Oregon Senate

Salem, Ore. – Oregon lawmakers passed a bill that would prohibit drivers from interacting with their mobile while driving, except when using a hands-free device.

House Bill 2597 is now headed to Governor Kate Brown’s desk to be signed into law. Once signed, it becomes effective immediately.

The law means most drivers will no longer be allowed to hold their phones, and can only touch them to activate or deactivate a mobile device or a function of the device.

That means anything other than quick, one-touch motions on your phone will be illegal.

Work is no longer an excuse to use your phone unless you’re a commercial driver, utility worker or first responder.

The first offense can be expunged by a distracted driver course, but the consequences of a second and third offense are more severe.

If you get caught twice within the span of ten years, you’re subject to a maximum fine of $2,000.

A third offense: $2,000 minimum with a possibility of jail time.

Stopping at a red light to check your phone could also be a no-go. The law states you need to pull over and park.

For those who rely on GPS maps, you’ll have to pull over as well. But once you get moving again, it’s hands-off.

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