Friday, June 14, 2013
On June 19 the Hood River Police Department will be stepping up law enforcement against drivers’ cellphone use while operating a motor vehicle.
As of Jan. 1, 2010, the Oregon Revised Statute 811.507 was amended to ban the use of mobile communication devices while operating a motor vehicle. The statute reads that “A person commits the offense of operating a motor vehicle while using a mobile communication device if the person, while operating a motor vehicle on a highway, uses a mobile communication device.” A mobile communication device is a text messaging device or a wireless two-way communication device designed to receive and transmit voice or text communication.
Driving while using a cellphone is a primary offense — this means a police officer may stop a driver solely for using a cellphone without using a hands-free accessory. This violation carries a maximum $110 fine.
Studies have shown one in 20 traffic accidents in the United States involve a driver talking on a cellphone or texting. It is calculated that nearly 2,600 people die each year as a result of cellphone use while operating a motor vehicle. Another 330,000 are believed to be injured in accidents.
The Hood River Police Department asks that drivers act responsibly while using cellphones. If you must take a call, please pull to the side of the road if you do not have a hands-free device.
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Lawnmower torches Arbor Vitae on Portland Drive
The riding lawn mower driven by Norma Cannon overheated and made contact with dry arbor vitae owned by Lee and Norma Curtis, sending more than a dozen of the tightly-packed trees up in flames. The mower, visible at far right, was totaled. No one was injured; neighbors first kept the fire at bay with garden hoses and Westside and Hood River Fire Departments responded and doused the fire before it reached any structures. Westside Fire chief Jim Trammell, in blue shirt, directs firefighters. The video was taken by Capt. Dave Smith of Hood River Fire Department. Enlarge