What is the Distracted Driving Legislation in Oregon?


Distracted driving was a significant safety risk in the US before smartphones were accessible and used. As a result, practically every state, including Oregon, has enacted anti-distracted driving legislation to try to get drivers to put down their phones and other sources of distraction and pay attention to the road instead. If you want to know more, click here.

Distracted Driving is Against the Law in Oregon

Every state has a unique strategy for preventing distracted driving. Oregon has outlawed using portable devices while driving since October 2017. As long as it is a first offense and you did not cause an accident, you can be fined up to $1,000 if the police find you texting, chatting on the phone, or using an app while operating a motor vehicle. If you agree to go to a class on preventing driving while distracted, you might be able to persuade the court to delay the fine even though the infraction will still appear on your driving record.

The distracted driving law prohibits the following uses:

  • Phone calls
  • Using the phone for enjoyment, like music streaming
  • Messaging
  • Emailing
  • Navigation
  • Browsing the Internet

The offense would become Class A, and the maximum fine would double if an automobile accident occurred. If it is a subsequent crime, the same holds true. And the charge is upgraded to a Class B misdemeanor after three instances of inattentive driving within a ten-year period. That implies the court may give you a prison term of up to six months.

Circumstances Where There May Be an Exception

There are several exceptions to the statute. If you are at least 18 years old, the most significant one enables you to operate your phone or another gadget hands-free (voice-activated). You may also tap your phone once to activate or deactivate it. Moreover, according to the law, you are not prohibited from calling emergency help such as police or an ambulance if there is no one else in the vehicle to do so.

Driving while distracted is reckless and hazardous. It significantly increases the chance that someone may have catastrophic injuries in an accident. If this has occurred to you or a loved one has been killed in Eugene by a distracted driver, you are entitled to full compensation under Oregon law. Nobody should be forced to deal with the financial burden of high medical costs, pain and suffering, and other effects of another driver’s careless actions.

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