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Prineville PD plans Distracted Driving Awareness Month enforcement

PRINEVILLE, Ore. (KTVZ) -- The month of April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month. The Prineville Police Department is teaming up with Oregon Department of Transportation and the USDOT’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to help spread the word about the dangers of distracted driving. 

From April 8th to April 12th, law enforcement officers will step up enforcement efforts for distraction violations, to remind drivers of the consequences of their distracted actions, and continue to spread the message about the dangers of distracted driving.

Distracted driving is dangerous, claiming 3,142 lives nationwide in 2019 alone.  From 2014-2018, there were 13,603 fatal and injury crashes resulting in 137 fatalities and 20,992 injuries caused by crashes involving a distracted driver in Oregon (all ages). 

A person commits the offense of driving a motor vehicle while using a mobile electronic device if the person, while driving a motor vehicle on a highway or premises open to the public.

  • Holds a mobile electronic device in the person’s hand; or
  • Uses a mobile electronic device for any purpose.

The offence described in this section, driving a motor vehicle while using a mobile electronic device, is:

  • A first offense that doesn’t contribute to a crash is a Class B violation with a maximum fine of $1,000.
  • A second offense, or if the first offense contributes to a crash, is Class A violation with a maximum fine of $2,000.
  • A third offense in ten years is a Class B misdemeanor and could result in a maximum fine of $2,500 fine and could be 6 months in jail.
  • For a first offense that does not contribute to a crash, the court may suspend the fine* if the driver completes an approved distracted driving avoidance class, and shows proof to the court, within four months. (*Only the fine is suspended – the violation will still be recorded on the offender’s driving record.)

The Prineville Police Department encourage everyone to drive safely.

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Barney Lerten

Barney is the digital content director for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Barney here.


1 Comment

  1. I like to call this one the “do as I say, not as I do” law.
    Law-enforcement is exempt from this law. There is not a day that goes by that I do not see a police officer driving while on the phone.

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