Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on April 12th, 2013 at 12:55 pm
The Beaverton Police Department wants to increase public awareness about distracted driving and especially the dangers of using a cell phone while driving. As of today, when people get stopped by Beaverton PD officers for violating Oregon's cell phone law, they will be given the option of going through a Distracted Driving Diversion Program.
Here's more from Beaverton PD Public Information Officer Mike Rowe:
"This new program provides drivers who have been stopped and issued a citation for using a mobile communication device an opportunity to attend an educational class. The class has an emphasis on distracted driving with a focus on the use of a cell phone. If you choose to take the Distracted Driving Diversion class, pay the diversion fee of $85.00, and successfully complete the class. The case will be dismissed and there will be no conviction on your driving record."
The fine for using a cell phone (without a bluetooth headset) while driving in Oregon is $110.
The Beaverton PD says using a phone while driving is "by far the most alarming distraction" drivers engage in and that it's "a major factor in many vehicle crashes." While educational efforts abound, using phones while driving remains an epidemic in America. A recent survey by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHSTA) found there are 660,000 people using cell phones or other devices while driving at any given time.
This is the same type of program that Portland pioneered back in 2007. Portland's Share the Road Safety Class is run through Legacy Emanuel Hospital and it's available (at an officer's discretion) to people stopped for any number of traffic citations.