Oregon Governor Kate Brown recently signed into law House Bill 2597, passed by the Oregon Senate on June 29, 2017. This bill both broadens the scope of the current law concerning cell phone use while driving and increases the penalties for those caught using their phones while driving.
Previously, a person had to be caught using their mobile device for a phone call or a text while driving. The new bill broadens prohibited activities to include merely holding a “mobile electronic device” or using a “mobile electronic device for any purpose” while behind the wheel of a vehicle – whether the vehicle is in motion, stopped at a stop light, or sitting in stationary traffic.
The new bill also broadens the definition of a mobile device from “a text messaging device or a wireless, two-way communication device designed to receive and transmit voice or text communication” to any “device capable of text messaging, voice communication, entertainment, navigation, accessing the Internet or producing electronic mail.”
The new law goes into effect on October 1, 2017.