The new distracted driving law known as DUIE (Driving Under Influence of Electronics) is now in effect, a lot of people are confused as to what it means to them...

Not Allowed

·       Drivers may not use hand-held cell phones while they are driving. That means no texting, reading messages, scrolling social media sites or talking on the phone with the device in hand.

·       Drivers may not use hand-held cell phones while stopped in traffic or at a stop light. This includes all electronic devices such as tablets, laptops, games and other hand-held devices.

·       No viewing videos or using cameras while driving.

·       Distractions that interfere with safe driving such as grooming, smoking, eating or reading is prohibited and can result in a fine if you are pulled over for another traffic offense.

Allowed

·       Drivers can use hand-held devices when they are parked or out-of-the-flow of traffic.

·       Drivers can use their electronic device if they are contacting emergency services.

·       Hands-free use, through Bluetooth for example, is allowed.

·       Drivers can use an electronic device so long as it’s hands-free (mounted on a dashboard cradle, for example) and can be started using a single touch to activate a program, such as a GPS.

Fines

·       Using a handheld device while driving is considered a primary offense under the new law. The first ticket for a distracted driving offense will cost at least $136. A second ticket within five years will cost at least $234.

·       Distracted driving violations can now be reported to insurance companies to use for rating and underwriting purposes.

·       Drivers can get a $99 ticket for other types of distracted driving, such as grooming, smoking, eating or reading, if they are pulled over for another traffic offense.

The Oregon Legislature has also approved a new, stricter distracted driving law as well. Last week, the Oregon Senate approved and sent to Gov. Kate Brown HB 2597, a measure that forbids drivers from touching any electronic device and imposes much higher fines for violations. If caught once, a driver can take a distracted driving course to remove the citation from their driving record. A second violation, however, could result in a $2,000 fine while a third violation could have a driver facing not only a big fine, but jail time as well.