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Oregon Lawmakers Move Ahead With Ban On Electronic Devices While Driving

Oregon lawmakers are one step closer to banning the use of all handheld electronic devices while driving.

The state House approved a measure Monday that would clarify the state’s ban on cell phone use while driving would apply to all functions of a smart phone, not just texting and talking.

Rep. Carl Wilson, R-Grants Pass, said he sees people multi-tasking behind the wheel all the time.

“I can’t tell you how many times I will pull up to an intersection and see the person to the right of me on their phone and the person to the left of me on their phone,” he said. “It is just an amazing situation.”

Opponents said the measure would do little to stop the problem of distracted driving.

“I feel as if we’re focused on one segment of distracted driving,” said Rep. Greg Smith, R-Heppner. “As a father of five kids, I think of all the times I’ve been distracted. Not just by a cellphone, but by that darn soda that’s spilled over in the car, or the soccer ball that came flying up from the back seat.”  

The measure passed 46-13 and now heads to the Oregon Senate.

Lawmakers in Olympia have already approved a similar bill this year.

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