Oregon And Electronic Devices

Topic 20909 | Page 1

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Dan R.'s Comment
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For those unaware, Oregon recently enacted a new distracted driving law that bars use of any devices not permanently mounted in a vehicle. Prior there was a major loophole in the cell phone rules where in order for it to be a violation the officer must see another violation taking place to make the stop, and the cell phone violation must involve two way communication with another person(so, basically, you could legally check your bank balance, but if you send a text crying about your balance you'd be in violation...). You are allowed one touch to an electronic device for the purposes of things like changing a song.

Depending on the articles you read, truck drivers may be exempt. I would not be so sure, having read the law. Not being a lawyer who knows, but from what I saw the only exception for us is the use of CB's(both mobile and portable units). It may well be that to get clarification on that will take it going to court a few times, but as it stands: don't touch devices. GPS, qualcom, dash cam, phone(obviously), or anything not permanently mounted(as in with glue or screws, NOT suction cups or magnets). May even be a good idea to just turn off as many of these as possible as one police department has already been quoted that reasonable suspicion to make a stop on this law is seeing the electronic glow of a screen.

Washington has a very similar law recently put on the books, but that one DOES have a clear exception for truck drivers.

Article on Oregon law

Text of the new Oregon law

May have sounded like I'm against this, but I'm definitely not. I think some clarification is needed on some things, but anything that stops people from getting distracted(and this WILL, eventually, as multiple violations can turn it into a misdemeanor crime and even potential jail time) is a wonderful thing. Just wanted to give a heads up as I know I'm not the only one that, despite not holding my phone and texting all day, I will occasionally do more than a 'single touch use' of a device. I'm not proud of that, and hopefully this helps me break myself of that.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Susan D. 's Comment
member avatar

I'm completely confused as it's been illegal to operate any handheld device or text from any device, for a long time. It's a federal regulation for commercial drivers that carries a $2500 fine.

Why are you thinking this is new? It includes any device, whether it's a phone, cb, Qualcomm , gps or whatever. And eating while driving could net you a distracted driving citation also.

Qualcomm:

Omnitracs (a.k.a. Qualcomm) is a satellite-based messaging system with built-in GPS capabilities built by Qualcomm. It has a small computer screen and keyboard and is tied into the truck’s computer. It allows trucking companies to track where the driver is at, monitor the truck, and send and receive messages with the driver – similar to email.
Dan R.'s Comment
member avatar

Perhaps because you know as well as I do that isn't enforced while this one will be, and will be able to be enforced by any police officer not just ones trained in motor carrier enforcement if it turns out it does, in fact, apply to us.

Why am I thinking a law that came into effect eight days ago is new? Because it came into effect eight days ago.

If you're actually confused as to why its a good idea to talk about a new law that may or may not apply to us and will be strictly enforced up to and including jail time just because there's a federal law on the books that is effectively not enforced, I don't know what to tell you.

Big Scott's Comment
member avatar

It's not a law about safety, it's about money. How about all the devices the cops have in their cars. There has been distracted driving for as long as there have been cars. All Susan was saying is there is already an enforceable law for truckers. Any cop can pull over anyone they see distracted driving. They only pull truckers over for it. Look at how many people you see driving with the phone in their hand.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Dan wrote:

Why am I thinking a law that came into effect eight days ago is new? Because it came into effect eight days ago.

Easy there Dan...no need for condescension. I understand Susan's question.

I too am all about safety. However many of the devices you mentioned are for "our safety". The CB, GPS, the Qualcomm and the dash cam. If used responsibly they present no compromise of focus. The problem is the hand-held devices. The billion dollar business that has created a new kind of addiction in this country.

I use my personal GPS in conjunction with the Navi-Go system on the Qualcomm to provide look-ahead for traffic congestion. Helps me to better anticipate when I need to slow down as opposed to being surprised. Same for the CB.

Further to the point, for carriers (like mine) that have company installed drive-cams, we cannot turn them off. Considering they are mounted with screws, a reasonably smart lawyer could argue that fact constitutes a level of permanence, not portable.

Again I'm all for safety, but this law provides the ability to write a ticket with (at least from what you said) no burden of proof an infraction was committed.

In PA it's illegal to text while driving. As far as I know, it's a primary offense. Considering the vantage point I have I'd say about half the drivers I see, are either texting or holding their phones about to text. Madness. However I have see no change in the enforcement once this law went into effect. It's chronic and shows how the culture of this country is shifting.

DUI is illegal. Does that stop people from doing it?

I honestly believe if you want this to stop, change how we educate drivers. Driver training and the simplicity of getting a license is a joke. A total joke. "Cars" kill way more people than guns. Yet there seems to be little concern for attacking the problem at it root cause.

Again do not misunderstand; I despise this behavior. I just see the law you described as a money grab.

Qualcomm:

Omnitracs (a.k.a. Qualcomm) is a satellite-based messaging system with built-in GPS capabilities built by Qualcomm. It has a small computer screen and keyboard and is tied into the truck’s computer. It allows trucking companies to track where the driver is at, monitor the truck, and send and receive messages with the driver – similar to email.

DUI:

Driving Under the Influence

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