As readers of this blog would probably know, drivers both in the Portland area and throughout the state now have to follow Oregon’s relatively new anti-distracted measure. This law bans almost all usage of hand-held cell phones, regardless of whether a person is actually texting, searching the web or even just having a conventional phone conversation.
According to one report, the law seems to be having its intended effect. The law went in to effect throughout the state last fall, a little over a year ago. At that time, sources estimated that the average Oregon motorist was driving distracted, that is by their cell phone, at well over 10 percent of the time. A few months later, after the law went in to effect, this percentage had fallen to about 9 percent.
This is welcome news, although of course additional work needs to be done when it comes to reducing distracted driving. Oregon’s law certainly helps prevent this problem in several ways. For one, the law itself gives authorities the ability to fine those who choose to use their phones while they are driving their cars. This alone can discourage texting and driving or otherwise trying to juggle their phone while driving.
Moreover, in the event of a car accident, the state’s law can help victims prove their case and get compensation. As this blog has suggested before, when a driver gets a ticket for a traffic safety violation following an accident, a victim can use that information to argue almost conclusively that the driver was negligent, giving the driver one less out from having to pay for his victims’ medical bills, lost wages and the like.