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Nov-20-2010 12:15printcomments

Marion County Traffic Safety Team Announces Cell Phone Operation


Officer giving a ticket
PHOTO: Marion Co. Sheriff's Office

(SALEM, Ore.) - Marion County Traffic Safety Team Deputies issued 39 citations for violation of the Oregon cell phone law during the focused cell phone operation on Friday afternoon. Most of the citations were issued in the area of Lancaster Drive NE and Highway 22.

In addition to the cell phone citations, they also issued 2 citations for speed racing, 6 for driving without a seatbelt, 3 for driving without insurance. Additionally, 3 drivers were issued warnings.

Ironically, one driver told the deputy that while talking on the cell phone and driving, a friend had warned him about the cell phone operation. Other drivers reported that they were aware of the operation because of the media coverage sent out on Wednesday.

Traffic Safety Team Sergeant Craig Cunningham reminded drivers, "The cell phone law is designed to improve the safety for all drivers using the highways and roads in Oregon. The results of our focused effort today only reinforce the need for our deputies to remind drivers of the law and its purpose".

Distracted driving is unsafe driving!

Oregon adopted a law restricting the use of mobile communication devices in January of this year. It aims at reducing distractions that drivers experience every time they dial or talk on their cell phone while driving. Of course, texting while driving is even more distracting and dangerous.

Documented cases of cell phone usage causing motor vehicle crashes are low, due in part to self-reporting by drivers involved in those accidents. National studies, however, have come to the same conclusion about the distractions cell phones create and how these distractions cause accidents.

On Friday, November 19th, the Marion County Sheriff's Office Traffic Safety Team will conduct a Cell Phone Operation to increase driver awareness of the law. The focus of their effort will be throughout Marion County, but especially on Lancaster Drive in Salem, between noon and 5:00pm.

There are several key elements in the Oregon law dealing with cell phones. Drivers over the age of 18 must use a hands-free device; drivers under the age of 18 are prohibited from using any mobile communication device.

There are some exemptions for devices used in the course of employment, but drivers should familiarize themselves with the law before assuming they qualify. Texting while driving is prohibited.

The law is a "primary" offense; meaning a deputy can stop a driver solely for using a mobile communications device without a hands-free accessory. It is a class D violation and carries a minimum fine of $142.

For safety's sake, our Traffic Team deputies encourage you to please pull over and stop in a safe place if you need to make or take a cell phone call; minimize your distractions!

Be sure to check out our YouTube public service announcement on the cell phone law:

News Release from: Marion Co. Sheriff's Office

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