Last week, Portland’s law enforcement was out on the Southeast streets to crack down on cell phone use by drivers. However, there wasn’t as much of a crack down as there was a let down. Police handed out 55 tickets and several more warnings. Two of them to the same person – within a few minutes.
We appreciate police taking the time to educate drivers about the law, and giving them the chance before slamming them with a $142 ticket. But we think distracted driving has gone on long enough, and it’s time to take this seriously.
We’re actually more disappointed in the drivers. Not only do the drivers seem to have no regard for the unsafe behavior and complete disregard for vulnerable pedestrians and other drivers who know the law and obey it, but we have very little tolerance for the excuse: "I didn’t know!"
How? The dangers of calling or texting while driving has been all over the news. Oregon media – as well as our posts on pdxinjurylaw.com – have for months been lauding the legislation, as well as alerting as many as possible of it. If you don’t know, surely someone you know does. We must all take action to make sure everyone driving is aware of the law – and obeying it.
There are no more excuses. We hope that when police start handing out tickets, they will not be so generous. We have, unfortunately, been too lax on this in the past. Now that we know it can save lives, people have to fight what, sadly, has become second nature to us.