Some Portland drivers still uncertain about new distracted drivi - KPTV - FOX 12

Some Portland drivers still uncertain about new distracted driving laws

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Oregon’s new tougher distracted driving law takes effect Sunday, so FOX 12 checked the pulse of people in Portland Friday to see if they were ready to drop their devices.

The new law may still be confusing to some drivers, but officers said they’re prepared to pull them over just for holding their phone.

The new law closes a loophole that only prohibited using phones to call or text while driving, tightening the restrictions to include any use of phones or other portable electronic devices for anyone behind the wheel.

MORE: Oregon ready to roll out new distracted driving law with stiffer penalties

Drivers won’t be allowed to scroll for that perfect song or type in a quick address to navigate to anymore. While motorists over the age of 18 can use a single touch or swipe to answer a call, the law prohibits 16 and 17-year-old drivers from using electronics at all, even with the assistance of hands-free accessories.

Jalen Javurek told FOX 12 he only got his driver’s license a few months ago and said Friday he was surprised to learn about the law.

“That could make you need to plan out your trips better,” he said.

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

With the law now covering all portable devices, including things like GPS unit, mother-of-two Rhonda Antell told FOX 12 that getting to unfamiliar spots may get tougher but that she sees the benefit of restricting use for younger drivers.

“You know, I don’t know how easy it’s really going to be to stay with the one touch thing,” she said. “I think that it is good for them to focus on driving and not what their friend and/or mom just texted them.”

MORE: Portland police: Be ready for bigger fines for distracted driving

Lawmakers said they hope a stricter set of rules will be the next step to saving more lives on the road.

Drivers ticketed under the new law will face a minimum $260 fine, and a driver caught breaking the law more than twice in 10 years could face penalties ranging from a $2,000 to up to six months in jail.

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