Drivers gearing up for new Oregon hands-free law with gadgets fo - KPTV - FOX 12

Drivers gearing up for new Oregon hands-free law with gadgets for their cars

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Motorists not ready for Oregon’s new distracted driving law that goes into effect Sunday and cracks down on drivers holding cell phones still have a few options that can be ready for the weekend.

The cheapest thing is for most drivers would just be putting their phones away while behind the wheel, but if they are looking for a gadget-based fix, there are a range of options, from mounts to Bluetooth speakers to integrated systems.

At a Beaverton Car Toys store, customers spent part of their Wednesday getting ready for the new law. Store staff said they would normally sell five to six mounts per day but noted that number has now tripled.

“We probably sell 10-15 a day, actually,” employee Ryan Grimes said. “We’ve got a bunch of boxes back there and I’d probably say one out of five customers are looking for either a phone mount or maybe a radio that does Android Auto, Apple Car Play, stuff like that.”

When it comes to accessories drivers can buy, the cheapest option is a simple car mount. The most popular choice is a magnetic version that will run someone about $20, while sturdier options can range up to $50.

Another option for hands-free operation is adding Bluetooth speakers.

“It’s got the clip that goes on the visor, and it is Bluetooth,” Grimes said, showing off a $35 model. ‘You can do phone calls through it as well as change your music.”

Higher-end versions with built-in memory and other features can cost up to $100 bucks, and Bluetooth integration systems are roughly double that.

“These are going to be like factory integration models so you don’t have to replace your radio, you don’t have to do a Bluetooth speaker. These get installed behind the radio to give you Bluetooth capabilities,” he explained. “Then you would push your CD button twice or your XM button and it sources over to your Bluetooth so you would get your hands-free calling as well as audio streaming.”

For those drivers not on a budget, in-dash monitors for Apple Car Play and Android Auto may be the best option. They range from roughly $400 to $600 and many shops in the area are offering specials on certain models running through October 2.

“The nice thing with that is you can do everything hands-free. You can use your navigation on the screen, you can do your music, you can tell it to play a specific song, navigate to a specific address, call a specific person, all with your voice,” Grimes explained. “Again, this is just a really nice feature because then you never have to touch your phone, you never have to risk getting a ticket, and ease of use, safety, it’s great.”

Once the new law goes into effect on October 1, the penalties for people who violate the law get tougher. Your first ticket will cost you $260. If you’re convicted three times in 10 years, you could go to jail.

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