Last week Governor Ted Kulongoski signed HB 2377. As a result, as of January 1, 2010, Oregon will join six states, numerous municipalities, and the District of Columbia prohibiting use of a hand-held cellular telephone while driving.
According to Senator Ginny Burdick (D-Portland), a long-time advocate for eliminating distractions on the roads, “this is a common sense safety issue. Particularly as a cyclist, I see this as a step in the right direction for helping everyone on the road develop safer habits.”
Exceptions to the new law are provided for public safety and emergency personnel, persons operating a vehicle within the scope of employment, persons engaged in certain one-way communications, and FCC-licensed amateur radio and two-way radio operators. HB 2377 designates a violation as a primary offense punishable as a Class D traffic violation with maximum fine of $90.