A new law that takes aim at distracted driving goes into effect October 1 in Oregon.
It’s long been illegal to text or talk on your phone behind the wheel without using a hands-free device. But an Oregon court ruled in 2015 that the law technically didn’t apply to things like uploading photos to social media or reading a book on your e-reader.
Senate President Peter Courtney held up a smartphone at a press conference outside the state Capitol.
“What we’re trying to do here is not over-regulate or tell people how to live their lives,” he said. “We’re just trying to tell them that this thing is every bit as dangerous as a bottle of liquor.”
The new law also includes stiffer penalties for drivers ticketed for holding an electronic device while behind the wheel. Hands-free phone calls are still okay for drivers 18 and older.