SPRINGFIELD, Ore - The "hands-free" law went into effect in Oregon on Jan. 1, but that's not stopping drivers from talking on their cell phones while driving.
KVAL rode along with Springfield officer Matt Bohman. We were only in the car about 2 minutes when we caught someone gabbing behind the wheel.
Police say talking while driving is a mistake that could be dangerous or even deadly because it divides the driver's attention.
"And by the way, putting your cell phone on 'speaker' and holding it in your hand is not a hands free device," said Officer Brian Gay.
But putting your phone on "speaker" and setting it in the seat next to you, or on the dashboard is ok.
Talking or texting while driving is a first offense in Oregon.
There are some exceptions for people who's jobs are primarily driving, like taxi drivers. But say, for example, someone is out doing work-related errands and gets a call from his or her boss. That is not an exception.
The fine or talking while driving is 142 dollars. So do yourself, and others on the road a favor. Strap on that bluetooth and keep your hands on the wheel - and off the phone.