Oregon legislators plan to introduce new distracted driving bill

Extra patrols to crack down on distracted driving(File Photo)

Oregon legislators plan on introducing a new bill in February that increases fines for distracted driving and includes prison time.

The new bill, which is being headed up by Senate Pres. Peter Courtney, would mean someone caught driving distracted for the first time could spend up to a year in prison, up to a $6,250 fine, or both. If you have multiple violations within 10 years, you could face up to 5 years in prison, a $125,000 or both.

In his testimony earlier this month, Courtney noted there's a distracted driving crash every two-and-a-half hours in Oregon and that almost 1,500 people a month are convicted of using a cell phone while driving.

"Distracted driving related injuries and deaths are becoming an epidemic. Until we, as a state, take distracted driving as seriously as drunk driving we aren’t going to be able to change behavior," Courtney said.

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