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.
- Police cracking down on distracted driving
- Medford Police is cracking down on distracted driving and DUIIs
- Distracted driving awareness month
- The 'Disconnect' Over Distracted Driving
- Distracted driving simulation at Medford Open Streets
- Distracted Driving Awareness Month Sheds Light On Dangerous Habits Behind The Wheel
- YouTube Cracking Down On Dangerous Trending Challenges
- Facebook is cracking down on personality quizzes
- Senate passes bill cracking down on robocalls
- GPDPS Announces Special Enforcement Programs To Find Distracted Drivers