Oregon Bill Would Boost Fines for Drivers on Phones

By LAUREN GAMBINO | February 14, 2013

Motorists caught talking on their cell phones or texting while driving would face stiffer fines – up to $1,000 – under a bill that is being considered in the Oregon Legislature.

The Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday approved the bill put forth by Senate President Peter Courtney. The Salem Democrat says he would like to see distracted driving treated the same way as drunken driving.

The proposed law is intended to make motorists take the existing law more seriously.

Committee members watched a video demonstrating the dangers of texting and heard from law enforcement officers who support the bill.

A House bill aims to increase the fines for drivers caught using their cell phones to $2,000.

The maximum fine is currently $250.

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