Portland, Oregon – You have new incentive to hang up and drive. The maximum fine for texting or talking on your handheld phone while driving has just increased from $250 to $500. The increase took effect January 1st. The increase is designed to decrease the number of crashes that involve a driver talking on a handheld phone or texting.
Shelly Snow with the Oregon Department of Transportation says they don’t plan a public awareness campaign about the bigger fine. She says studies show Oregonians know it’s illegal to text and drive. She says it’s not just a specific age group ignoring the law. She says drivers of all ages are still texting or talking on their handheld behind the wheel.
Between 2009 and 2011 in Oregon, 9 drivers died in accidents involving a driver using a cell phone. 673 people have been injured.