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Police cracking down on distracted driving

"$265 is a lot of money for just a quick text or quick phone call," Officer Matthew Carpenter said.

Posted: Apr 5, 2019 7:03 PM

ASHLAND, Ore. -- April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month and police departments are cracking down.

Officer Matthew Carpenter works with the Ashland Police Department. He patrols the downtown area, and says he sees hundreds of distracted driving violations a week. 

Through the pouring rain Friday afternoon, Carpenter pulls over a black Mazda 3. He writes a ticket after he saw the driver talking on his phone while driving.

"It's so common; I see it frequently--multiple times every day, especially when people are texting and really taking their eyes off the road," Carpenter says of how often he sees violations. 

Carpenter says he had a friend injured by a distracted driver, and that he couldn't continue to do his day job afterward.

"He couldn't live the normal life that he did before getting hit by this girl who was on her cell phone," Carpenter says. 

Carpenter says a first time offense will cost you $265. The fines only go up each time you're ticketed.

Oregon's cell phone law says you can't use a mobile electronic device unless it's a hand-free device. If you're younger than 18, you can't use any device, whether it's hands free or not. There are some exceptions. 

"$265 is a lot of money for just a quick text or quick phone call," Carpenter said. 

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 12438

Reported Deaths: 237
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Multnomah296672
Marion189354
Washington189221
Umatilla10418
Clackamas100628
Malheur4002
Union3692
Lincoln3615
Lane3093
Deschutes2680
Yamhill2059
Linn18210
Jackson1810
Polk17912
Jefferson1680
Morrow1541
Klamath1381
Wasco1171
Benton1156
Hood River1060
Douglas640
Josephine571
Clatsop550
Columbia540
Coos540
Lake240
Crook181
Tillamook160
Wallowa150
Baker120
Curry90
Sherman50
Gilliam20
Harney20
Grant10
Unassigned00
Wheeler00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 333357

Reported Deaths: 7089
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles1363573824
Riverside25748550
Orange25255424
San Diego19929422
San Bernardino19502307
Fresno828288
Imperial7977136
Alameda7976148
San Joaquin698870
Kern660198
Santa Clara6542167
Tulare5942152
Sacramento571483
Stanislaus497351
Contra Costa485290
San Francisco459050
Ventura424653
San Mateo4045112
Santa Barbara393131
Marin370232
Kings297039
Monterey279018
Solano207528
Merced188412
Sonoma181916
Placer111411
San Luis Obispo10065
Yolo92928
Madera8938
Santa Cruz5693
Napa5184
Lassen4280
Sutter4034
San Benito3622
Butte3384
El Dorado3070
Shasta2006
Yuba1983
Glenn1760
Humboldt1654
Nevada1631
Mendocino1320
Lake1211
Colusa1130
Tehama1071
Tuolumne730
Calaveras670
Del Norte610
Mono521
Siskiyou410
Amador400
Inyo351
Mariposa321
Plumas190
Alpine20
Trinity20
Sierra10
Unassigned00
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