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Do you talk & drive?

The cell phone law in Oregon was passed in 2009 and went into effect new year's day 2010:

The new law, a class D traffic violation with a minimum base fine of $142.00, is effective January 1, 2010 and is a primary offense, meaning that a police officer may stop a driver solely for using a cell phone without using a hands-free accessory.  For purposes of the new law, “mobile communication device” is defined as a text messaging device or a wireless, two-way communication device designed to receive and transmit voice or text communication.  

When I am walking, biking, and driving around town, I see countless individuals breaking the law. When the driver is being particularly mindless, I have shouted "get off the phone!", though I hate to be getting all up in everyone's business.  

As multi-tasking as I like to be, doing anything while fiddling on my phone is not good for me.  I can't walk while texting, I can't even dial while driving.  If I need to make a call, I have to be stopped, bluetooth installed and connected, while I dial.  Once on the call and en route, I feel pretty fine about driving with the hands-free unit.

Tell me: do you see it too?  Do you see drivers continuing to use their phones while driving?  Either held up to the ear or even on speakerphone with the phone held up to their mouth (which - to me - seems to be still the same as holding phone to ear)?  Do you think we shouldn't be on phones while driving period, whether we are on a hands-free unit or not?


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Talking on a headset is still distracted driving. Drivers should focus on driving, rather than talking on headset, eating, fiddling with the radio, etc. I learned in some class that the minutes after a call are just as dangerous as the call beacuse the driver is thinking about the call, not driving. Drive, don't talk or text. thank you.

I see a lot of this in Sw Portland. I hate it. I don't answer if I'm driving and I never text or phone while operating my car.

And don't get me started on folks who text during the movie. If I spend 40 dollars or more treating myself and the kids to a movie.. I do not want my peripheral vision ruined by your smart phone screen while you text.

Weather or not I'm on the phone, my mind is usually absorbed in what is going on in my life, as much as I'm in the car to and from school et al. And what about talking to people in the car? And talking to your kids? Those can be some teachable moments in the car, driving. I think if your EYES are OFF the road and on the radio, phone, etc that is very dangerous, but that first comment's argument is silly. To not let your mind wander to anything aside of driving regulations and vehicle operation is unrealistic.

Totally guilty of this. My phone is ancient and doesn't have bluetooth. I stand corrected and guilty.

Guilty too, although I attempt to use the little ear piece doohickey that came with the phone since the law passed. Sometimes the only time I have free to make or receive a call is when in transit.

This law is for our own safety . So people should take it seriously.

Yes, the law is for our safety, but honestly, I don't understand why it is safer to use an ear piece. For me it is all the same distraction, except that with an ear piece I actually have two free hands, not just one. Ok, so maybe it is a tiny bit safer with an ear piece. Not enough to make it a law. If I understand correctly, there was already a law against driving while being distracted, which seems sufficient to me.
Don't get me wrong, I think talking on the phone is distracting. I just don't think that hands free talking is safer.

I think a lot of it depends on the situation where driving is taking place. If you are driving down a quiet stretch on I-5 (outside of the city), I don't see a problem with having a hands-free conversation. But if you are driving down a busy street or in a parking lot, there is no reason to be on the phone, hands free or not. There is just no way that you are able to pay attention to both.

Never. (Of course, I'm the last person on earth who neither has nor wants a cell phone.) But it truly bothers me when I see others doing it. I know how easy it is to become distracted while driving, just changing a radio station or fooling around with the heat/cool settings. Adding talking on the phone to that is a recipe for no good.

This may sound lame, but when I turned 16 my mom told me "you have a license yes. a license that can kill." (Kind of like a license to kill....yadda yadda, but not giving permission to actually kill someone.)
Anywho, my point being, overall no one seems to take driving seriously enough anymore. These huge metal machines weigh thousands of pounds. We travel in them with our loved ones at high rates of speed. For Pete's Sake, let's focus more on what we're doing. No eating, talking on the phone, putting on make up, typing on laptops and netbooks (I see that a lot. Truly frighting to see that. I even saw someone reading a book once......on the HIGHWAY!)
I even try to pull over if I can when the kids get really rowdy or and always make sure I'm stopped if I have to grab something that was dropped.
Please be careful, not just for your sake, but for the rest of us driving out there. We'd all like to come home to our families at the end of the day and not have a knock on the door from an officer.

Seems like I notice more drivers with phones pressed to their ears than I did before the law was passed.

I am a cell phone user, and yes I do use it in my car, and I'm not 100% hands-free. But I've got to say that cell phones in general bring out the worst manners in people...the aforementioned texting during a movie, as well as texting/surfing in restaurants, constantly taking pictures at live music shows, loud cell phone conversations in public--the list goes on. Drives me nuts.

ah - i know the thread is about talking and driving, but the comment by S above makes me want to stand up and shout "yeah! and another thing..."

how do SO MANY PEOPLE think it's ok to carry on a cell phone conversation while someone is checking them out at the grocery store or helping them at the bank? find myself thinking i must be old-fashioned, but it's just so rude. if you want to talk while you do self-check, fine. but when an actual human is focused on helping you, a little human interaction seems only decent. it might just be 5 minutes of your day, but for the checker if every other person is on the phone then half of his or her workday are spent trying to communicate with someone who is talking to someone else and not making eye contact.

I'm not much of a cell phone user, but when I feel like I need to take a call in the car (2-3x/month?), I do so without the bluetooth. In order to use the bluetooth to make or answer a call I have to push a bunch of itty-bitty hidden buttons that require a great deal of attention, so even though it's the legal option, for me it's the unsafe option.

@zinemama "(Of course, I'm the last person on earth who neither has nor wants a cell phone.)"

I was the exactly same way until my 13 year old started taking the max across town to school and became very independent with her friends in general. It's funny but there are actually very few pay phones left in the world and when your child is stuck somewhere it's great that they can always contact you if needed. It's funny how things change as your kids do!

With the new smart phones, I just plug it into my cars mp3 player (or tape deck converter if an older car). That way, if I have to, I can make a call (while stopped) and converse totally hands free without an ear device. I don't answer incoming calls while driving (nothing is that important or maybe I just don't get many calls). Total hands free conversations are just like talking to a passenger, and I don't believe speaking while driving will be outlawed any time soon.

I think the real problem is texting while driving. I see this way too frequently and am amazed that anyone does it.

I had a family member killed due to a distracted driver, a very young family member.

All of these silly excuses about why it is ok for YOU to talk/text while driving are simply ridiculous. Aside from the safety aspects, have you ever thought about what kind example you are setting for the little ones in the back seat who will be driving someday. That it is "ok" to "bend" the law if you are pressed for time, really busy, being "safe" etc.

DO NOT PICK UP YOUR PHONE AT ALL WHILE IN THE CAR! Simple. Put it in your purse!

There is a reason for the law...a reason I am too familiar with and I hope you will never have to be.

Timely topic! April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month. Here's a link to a blog post from the US Secretary of Transportation with links to PSAs from their awareness campaign.


Driving while talking on the phone has obvious downsides. It doesn't even have to be about being distracted. Driving with one hand is dangerous, no matter what you're doing with the other.

I'm guilty as charged. I talk on the phone while driving. However, I only do it when the lanes are not too busy and when I really, absolutely have to take the call.

I do not talk and drive and I never will. The phone can wait until I get to my destination, or maybe at least when I'm stuck in a traffic jam. There is nothing worth risking your safety for.

I think that the Federal Government and Traffic Authority must enforce a law about using the cellphone when driving. This will help lessen car accidents based on talking to the phone while driving.

I'm glad they made this into a law because many people have died in accidents regarding the use of cellphones while driving. We all should focus on driving instead of the cellphone.

In the past, I have always admired those who can talk and drive. But with the advent of bluetooth headsets, I think taking calls is more possible even while on the road.

I think they are also applying this to other states as well since it was very effective in preventing serious injuries and crashes.

Bluetooth and voice activated programs can still be distracting due to the fact that your mind isn't fully focused on driving but on your conversation. It still involves multi-tasking mentally.

All of these silly excuses about why it is OK for YOU to talk or text while driving are simply ridiculous. If it is very very urgent then use a cell phone with hands-free accessory it is Ok but not good for driver as well as traffic. Get More Info Bluetooth and voice activated programs can still be distracting due to the fact that your mind isn't fully focused on driving. SO please don't use cell phone while driving.

All of these silly excuses about why it is OK for YOU to talk or text while driving are simply ridiculous. If it is very very urgent then use a cell phone with hands-free accessory it is Ok but not good for driver as well as traffic. http://www.brightskylending.com Bluetooth and voice activated programs can still be distracting due to the fact that your mind isn't fully focused on
driving. SO please don't use cell phone while driving.

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