Rep. Olson Tackles Metal Theft & Cell-Phone Drivers

OregonCatalyst will be profiling what issues our lawmakers will be working on. This week we highlight State Rep. Andy Olson from Albany and some of the issues he has talked about. Here is Rep. Olson in his own words:

Cellular Phones

One of the concepts I have been working on deals with the use of cell phones while operating a vehicle. Many of you have shared that you have nearly been run off the road by a driver who was busy talking on a cell phone. There are a number of ways we can approach this: one is to restrict cell phone usage completely, another is to allow usage only involving a hands-free set up, and yet another is to target the driving behavior. I am more inclined to focus on the driving behavior, such as “Distracted Driving.” I would be interested in your thoughts along this line.

Metal Theft

As most of you are aware, metal theft has become a big business in our state. Farmers, utility companies, construction sites, and a host of other folks are losing various types of metals to thieves because of the great demand overseas. To combat this, I have worked with a group that is currently crafting a law that will hopefully curtail much of the theft. The bill does several things, but the two main things that it does are: 1) add the crime of Failure to Maintain Metal Records to the enhanced property crimes section of the Criminal Code, and 2) make any amount of taking metal with the intent to sell to a metal recycler or salvage company a Class C Felony.