Oregon’s new distracted driving law starts Oct. 1

Currently, Oregon uses a hands-free law which focuses on drivers texting and holding the phone to talk. Now the law has been fine tuned.

Earlier this year the Senate approved House Bill 2597 which states that any hands-on phone activity from the driver’s seat in an automobile will be illegal starting October 1.

Medford Police breaks down what you need to know about the new cell phone law going into effect Sunday, Oct. 1. It is illegal to drive while holding or using an electronic device (cell phone, tablet, GPS, Laptop). It is not okay to use if you are stopped at a stop light, stop sign, or stopped in traffic. You must pull over to the side of the road.

The law doesn’t apply if:

  • Activating device by single touch or swipe
  • Device installed in vehicle (e.g. factory installed touchscreen)
  • Summoning medical help
  • Operating a HAM radio


  • First offense (no crash) – $260 but can be suspended if you complete a course.
  • Second offense – $435
  • Third offense within ten years – $2,000 minimum and is a Class B Misdemeanor

Clarification: You can use your phone for GPS, as long as you do not touch it more than once

Time to check out Amazon for some cell phone mounts.

Medford Police

Lloyd Williamson