April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, and the Seaside Police Department is teaming up with agencies from across Oregon and nationwide to increase enforcement efforts that help curb unnecessary accidents and fatalities that are the direct result of distracted driving. Targeted enforcement specifically designed at all types of distracted driving will take place for the next four weeks throughout Seaside.
Distracted driving contributed to the deaths of 137 people in Oregon between 2014-18, including the distractions caused by the use of a cell phone.
Targeted enforcement will be directed at the prohibited use of cell phones while driving. Doing so is illegal in Oregon and has been since the cell phone law went into effect in 2017. A first-time offense, that doesn’t contribute to a crash, is a class B violation and carries a maximum fine of $1,000. The violation and fines can increase for repeat offenders and may include subsequent jail time.
Distraction occurs when a driver voluntarily diverts attention to something not related to driving that uses the driver’s eyes, ears, hands and mind. Most distractions involve more than one of these types, with both a sensory — eyes, ears, or touch — and a mental component, mind.
Learn more about distracted driving, including how to order free educational brochures, posters and more on the Oregon Department of Transportation’s website.