Oregonians okay with cell phone ban

On January 1, 2010 cell phone use was banned for drivers in Oregon. Most Oregonians don’t mind the new law. When asked if they agree with a ban on hand-held cell-phone use when driving, 83% said yes.

Yes: 786 – 83%
No: 166 – 17%
Total Respondents: 952

Are you one of the many who are breaking the habit the hard way?

In the first month the OSP issued 41 tickets and 250 warnings. In Portland citations far outnumbered warnings, with the police writing 368 tickets. These tickets included a five day targeted mission after the law went into effect, as well as regular daily patrols. Violaters faced a $142 ticket. Meanwhile, a surprising new study reported that hands-free phone laws don’t actually reduce crashes.

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Posted by at 05:00 | Posted in Measure 37 | 27 Comments |Email This Post Email This Post |Print This Post Print This Post
  • Steve Plunk

    I still see government workers using cell phones while driving on a regular basis. I guess the government class is not subject to the rules like the rest of us.

    • eagle eye

      You must have a very lively interest in watching government workers to be able to catch them doing this “on a regular basis”.

      Are you really suggesting that they are not subject to this law? Do you have any real information on this?

      Or are you suggesting that the “rest of us” are all obeying the law? I see plenty of instances to the contrary (though I don’t make it a practice to note whether other vehicles are government or not).

      • Steve Plunk

        I can usually count on you to defend the public sector.

        I first started noticing public employees using cell phones while driving a few years back when riding my bicycle. A public works pickup sat at a green light with the driver on the phone with me behind him on my bike. When I yelled to pay attention he took offense and then swerved into me as I passed. This ended later when I offered to call the police if he didn’t apologize. I got my apology. Since then I have noticed public employees flaunting common sense and putting others in danger as they gab away.

        I pay close attention to any E plated vehicle. Public employees use them for personal errands and to commute to work. They seem to think they are above the law and park illegally on a regular basis. My attitude concerning public sector workers is based upon years of observation of them driving and interacting with the public. My conclusion is they consider themselves a privileged class.

        • Anonymous

          Paintin’ with a pretty broad brush there, eh, Steve?

        • a student conservative

          You yelled at a guy sitting at a stop because he was talking on his cell phone? You’re lucky all he did was swerve! You sound like a real jerk. Why do you have such a bug up your ass about public employees?

          • Anonymous

            In fairness, he said he yelled at the guy because he wasn’t paying attention (the light was green), not necessarily because he was talking on a cell phone. But, yeah, Steve has “a bug up his ass about public employees”. Why? He’s a libertarian, and that’s what libertarian’s do… get bugs up their asses about anything having to do with government. Sometimes with good reason, and other times… not so much. They seem to get correlation and causation mixed up every now and again.

          • Steve Plunk

            Well now. It seems people are wondering why I might have a “bug up my ass”. I’ll be happy to oblige them an explanation.

            First of all I’m an Oregon businessman so I’ve seen government and it’s employees abuse their power and people’s mandate on numerous occasions. Oregon is hostile to business as sees business as a cow to be milked but not fed nor protected from the elements. It’s not just me. Ask other Oregon business people and you will get a similar response.

            Second. I have been involved in local government affairs as a volunteer for many years. City parks, city planning, county roads, regional transportation, land use club, and other activities has given insight to the modern governing process. It has also allowed me to see the lengths that public employees go to allow public comment but ignore it at the same time. My accounting background gives me insight into the financial side of government and the complete fiduciary failures by both elected officials and bureaucrats.

            Third. There is a coming financial disaster that can be laid at the feet of public employees, their unions, the bureaucrats that negotiate contracts with them, and the politicians who failed to correct them all. It was foreseen more than 30 years ago yet none of these “public servants” would back away from the trough and fix it. That irresponsible behavior is inexcusable in my mind.

            I do paint with a broad brush just the same way they do. As for being jerk I’m afraid you’re mistaken, I’m quite pleasant and would discuss any of this over a beer, glass of wine, whatever. But when a jackass swerves his vehicle into me on my bicycle I will push back. I yelled because I have no horn on the bicycle.

            So instead of worrying about my particular gripe (I brought it up for Eagle’s sake) take some time to observe those public employees yourself and I’ll bet you soon you see things more like me.

          • Ron Marquez

            I’m in total agreement with you, Steve.

            I’d especially like to see eagle or anybody else refute point 3 of your note. New Jersey, California and others have shown us the way to fiscal ruin and our state leadership, with head firmly esconced in rump, is in hot pursuit.

          • eagle eye

            What the supposedly coming public-employee caused state fiscal crisis has to do with government employees using cell phones, at stop lights or otherwise, is beyond me.

          • Steve Plunk

            Eagle sometimes you amaze me. I was answering someone’s question about why I am critical of public employees. Didn’t you read the question above?

          • eagle eye

            You started the thread with an observation about public employees suposedly misusing cell phones. Somehow this morphed into your experience “yelling” at a public employee at a stop light, and then public employees putting the rest of the populace in danger, then public employees threatening the ruin of government finances. You obviously are obsessed with hatred of public employees and government in general. “I pay close attention to any E plated vehicle.” This is not ordinary behavior.

          • Steve Plunk

            No. Oregon Catalyst started the thread and I made a two sentence comment regarding government employees being common violators of the law. You’re the one who wanted to delve deeper into my reasoning, motivations, and experiences. I’ve merely been responding to inquiries.

            I think it’s time for you to think about the rules of holes.

          • Anonymous

            Whoa whoa whoa. LOL. I was just being funny with the “student consevative”. The “bug up his ass” thing was his, I was just playin’ along. I like you, Steve, although I don’t always share your hostility for public employees. Now, for the sake of conversation, I’ll attempt to address each of your points.

            “First of all I’m an Oregon businessman so I’ve seen government and it’s employees abuse their power and people’s mandate on numerous occasions. Oregon is hostile to business as sees business as a cow to be milked but not fed nor protected from the elements. It’s not just me. Ask other Oregon business people and you will get a similar response.”

            I know it’s not just you. M67 was/is one of the most idiotic, unfair, anti-business pieces of legislation I’ve ever seen (that’s why I voted no), but at the same time I can tell you with certainty that not everyone in the business community shares your feeling that Oregon is overly hostile to business. Relative to a majority of the states in this republic Oregon is actually reasonably friendly. And that’s a fact, and many of us are aware and accepting of that fact. That said, we do have our fair share of challenges here (some of which government can be blamed for), but frankly (and I don’t mean to sound unfriendly when I say this), I think your attitude stinks.

            Here’s an interview with a guy I’ve had the pleasure of meeting a number of times, and who, though he might get a little crusty every now and again, always has a great attitude. He’s a terrific businessman, which is to say he’s a terrific problem solver. He does not complain about the way he thinks things ought to be, he simply reacts to the situation.

            http://www.oregonbusiness.com/articles/20/252

            “Second. I have been involved in local government affairs as a volunteer for many years. City parks, city planning, county roads, regional transportation, land use club, and other activities has given insight to the modern governing process. It has also allowed me to see the lengths that public employees go to allow public comment but ignore it at the same time. My accounting background gives me insight into the financial side of government and the complete fiduciary failures by both elected officials and bureaucrats.”

            Like I said above, sometimes the bug has a darn good reason for being up your ass. I’d be a liar if I said there weren’t plenty of times that I wanted to slap the shit out of some of those incompetent boobs up in Salem. What else is new?

            “Third. There is a coming financial disaster that can be laid at the feet of public employees, their unions, the bureaucrats that negotiate contracts with them, and the politicians who failed to correct them all. It was foreseen more than 30 years ago yet none of these “public servants” would back away from the trough and fix it.”

            There may be an economic disaster on the horizon, and public employee unions and bureaucracy may be in large part to blame, but know that it will be a federal disaster, not just a state one. Oregon’s situation is not unique. Regardless, we’ll see what happens when it happens, and then we’ll deal with it. Sometimes things need to get worse before they can get better.

            “That irresponsible behavior is inexcusable in my mind.”

            That’s why they call it corruption, Steve, of course it’s inexcusable. But we’re kind of transcending politics now, aren’t we? Now we’re talking about the human condition. Why are humans bad? Why are humans selfish? Why do humans lie? And on and on…

            “I do paint with a broad brush just the same way they do. As for being jerk I’m afraid you’re mistaken, I’m quite pleasant and would discuss any of this over a beer, glass of wine, whatever. But when a jackass swerves his vehicle into me on my bicycle I will push back. I yelled because I have no horn on the bicycle.”

            Once again, I do not think you’re a jerk (never said I thought you were), and I would’ve yelled at the prick too. I would not, however, correlate his status as a prick with his being a public employee. But that’s just me. My guess is he was a prick long before he was hired by the state of Oregon to do whatever it is that he does (or doesn’t do, or does slowly, or whatever the case may be).

        • eagle eye

          “I can usually count on you to defend the public sector.”

          We can usually count on you to initiate attacks on public employees under any and all pretexts, no matter how eccentric or absurd, as you did at the top of this thread.

          • Steve Plunk

            Perhaps you could defend that statement. What is eccentric, absurd, or generally distasteful about my post. Your lack of specific points leaves me scratching my head. I didn’t bring up cell phone use but it was the topic and recently friends had made similar comments about government people using them. On topic, to the point, and backed up with reasonable arguments, what’s not to like?

          • eagle eye

            If you want to think going around watching for public employees using cell phones is normal, be my guest. If you have a whole circle of friends doing this, count is as normal to the n’th power if you like. Seems eccentric to me, but what do I know? In repeatedly sitting with groups of people, none of whom are government employees — I’ll leave out groups of friends who include government employees — I’ve never heard the cell phone use of government workers come up at all. But maybe I’m the one with the odd friends.

            But yelling at people at stop lights could be bad for one’s health.

          • Steve Plunk

            Once more you are taking a simple idea and turning it into something it is not. My friends and I do not go around looking for this behavior we just notice it often enough to see a problem. The legislature though it was enough of a problem to pass a law so I doubt we are outliers on this.

            Like I said before (you need to read the comments completely) I yelled because I have no horn on my bike. It was the only way to get the driver’s attention. He took offense for some reason.

    • Anonymous

      Why DO you have such a big bug up your ass about government? Have you or your family or your company been persecuted or something?

      • Steve Plunk

        This is a political forum, a place to exchange ideas about politics and…government. The bug is not that big. I don’t usually talk about this stuff other places or with other people.

  • Bob Clark

    I think there may have been an exception written in the legislation allowing cell phone usage if for work purposes. Probably written for Ginnie Burdick the one sponsoring and promoting the ban, who admitted to talking hand in ear while driving to and from the state capitol.

    I still am having to drive with caution around people driving while talking hand to ear. I am not noticing an increase in tinted windows to help evade getting caught cell phoning while driving, but probably going hands free or just plain ignoring the ban is much easier. Sure there was a few token days of enforcement but the important thing was for the politicians enacting this law to get the headlines of “do goodism.”

    If the state legislature were allowed to meet for law making only once every five to ten years, and then only for forty days maximum, I should think we would get a lot more practical stuff from our state government than these head line grabbing nanny laws.

  • Rupert in Springfield

    I think thats what this is – Oregonians are ok with the ban because it isnt heavily enforced. Its a fairly stupid law and we knew this going in. A few got hands free devices and used them for a bit. After a week or so the average nitwit can figure out that if the argument is a cell phone is distracting then wheather or not one holds it hardly seems material.

    That said, no one is exactly going to be vehement in their opposition to the law. To do so makes one look like a vapid Brittney Spears whose lifeline to the world is their cell phone. So we all just pretend we like the law, we dont, pretend it is being enforced, it isn’t and pretend to obey it, we won’t.

  • Sabrina

    I was never okay with the cell phone ban and I think a majority of Oregonians feel the same way. I don’t care about the poll that was taken because we don’t know what area and whom you polled. I am an excellent driver, never had an accident in my life nor a ticket. I have the ability to talk on the phone and get what I need done in a quick and concise manner. I haven’t cause any problems on the road while I was talking. I think most of us, me included, are just sick and tired of GOVERNMENT stepping in and taking yet one more freedom away. I don’t need Obama or anyone else telling me how much salt I should consume; what type of car I should be driving; or anything else. I have managed my life quite well for the 56 years I have been alive. I am sure there is that group out there that depends on government for everything, including when they can talk on a phone and for how long. However, there is a majority of us that don’t need the “advise”. Unfortunately, we have to pay for those that don’t get it, don’t care to get it, and never will get it…but those of us that do get it, have to deal with these laws that are imposed for the few that can’t walk and chew gum at the same time.

    And I agree with Bob Clark. These are nanny laws and I am SICK of it. I don’t need government telling me anything or wasting taxpayer money creating these boondoggles. If someone is talking on a phone and causing a traffic issue, then ticket them, but don’t punish the rest of us that can think and drive.

  • Anonymous

    I am ok with people choosing to hang up and drive. But I resent there being a law about it. And I think police have far more important things to do than watch cars go by looking for cell phone use – but since this will make money for police departments, good luck getting them to prioritize differently.

  • Mark Sanderson

    What about texting and riding a bike??

  • Scatact

    Like DWI there just to many dunces behind the wheel that cannot understand texting and answering the phone while driving can endanger other divers unless they get a ticket and fine.

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