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Fred's Auto Removal | Cash for Junk Cars Portland > Blog > Questions and Answers

It doesn’t matter if you live in Portland, or are visiting the area on vacation, as of October 1st, 2017 if you’re caught using a cellphone or smart phone while driving you will face a fine of $234 and the fines will keep going up from there each time you’re caught using your phone while driving.

Yes, we will admit that it’s very easy for anyone to use their mobile phone while they drive (especially Police officers) but, if you’re caught with one in your hands while you’re behind the wheel you will be held accountable.

Good or bad, the law is the law and if you’re fond of driving with your phone in your hand it’s time for you to invest in a hands free system for your vehicle or purchase a newer vehicle that already has hands free capabilities built in.

Oregon Cell Phone Driving Law

Cell Phones Are Like “Hot Lava” Now, For Oregon Drivers

Mike Massey, a Springfield OR police officer recently shared his take on the new Oregon Cell Phone law and how it’s affecting drivers.

In addition to witnessing drivers talking or texting on their cellphones while driving, he’s seen them writing Facebook comments, using Snapchat to take selfies — even watching pornography.

Massey has pulled over such drivers, lectured them and sometimes written them up for it.

But the 2017 Legislature passed House Bill 2597 this past summer, which broadened and clarified what constitutes distracted driving and increased the penalties for it.

Before the law went into effect Oct. 1, drivers already were not permitted to text or call from a cellphone while driving.

But the new law is a virtual hands-off policy when it comes to cellphone use now, making it illegal to hold or touch a cellphone for any reason, including listening to music or using apps for navigation.

“That thing is hot lava now. Don’t touch it,” Massey said. “I don’t care what you’re doing with it. I don’t care if you’re scratching your face with it. You can’t do it.”

Hands-free cellphone use still is permitted.

Cell phones cradled in a dashboard mount are considered hands-free and are acceptable, but only if the functions in use require just a single touch or swipe to activate or deactivate.

Planning to make a quick call or answer a text at a red light? That, too, is illegal. The car must be safely parked before a cellphone can legally be used.

The first violation of the new cellphone law is a $260 fine; a second violation — or if the first violation involves a wreck — is a $435 fine. A conviction for a third offense can result in six months in jail or up to a $2,500 fine.

Drivers younger than age 18 cannot use any device while driving, even if it’s hands-free.

“I’m glad they changed the law because I’ve heard all the excuses,” Massey said. “’I was changing my music.’ ‘I was checking my clock.’ I’m tired of the excuses; you were using your phone. Period.”

Massey, who has been with Springfield police for 13 years, has been working in a team of three on traffic enforcement for the past three years. Officers Tom Speldrich and Matt Bohman also work the motorcycle patrol.

Massey and Speldrich were working one recent morning on Main Street and then on Gateway Street, stopping drivers spotted with a phone in hand.

“We could literally write tickets all day long. But we’ve seen an improvement since the law went into effect,” Massey said. “I’m sure once the surprise and newness wears off, people will go back to using them.”

How Police Officers Know You’re Using Your Phone While Driving

“Some people have upgraded to hands-free devices but then, there are people who still do it,” Massey added. “They’re still holding their phones, holding them down real low to hold them out of the way, thinking they’re real sneaky.”

Massey shared some of his tricks for how he spots the drivers who think they’re being too sneaky to catch.

“If I see one hand up on the wheel . where’s the other hand? That’s my first thing; find the other hand,” Massey said. The motorcycle officers also observe drivers from places that have a little elevation, he said, to give them a good vantage point for seeing into someone’s car.

During a recent shift, a number of people were pulled over for illegal cellphone use, but most received a warning.

Jodie Bloxham, 35, of Fall Creek was pulled over on Main Street after Massey said he spotted her holding her phone and touching it repeatedly with her finger.

Bloxham at first denied that she was using her phone. But after Massey spotted it on the floorboard, she admitted she was, but said it was just to check the time. However, a clock was visible in her dashboard.

“I didn’t know about the cellphone law,” she finally admitted. “I was running late to my appointment, and I was just looking at the time.”

Before, when he worked as a detective, Massey said he could regularly get criminals to confess to felonies. But in this position, he said, he’s dealing with people who aren’t necessarily accustomed to having their daily habits corrected, and their automatic instinct is to deny any wrongdoing, perhaps because they are uncomfortable.

“I’ve seen people launch their phones out of their cars, catapult them somewhere else inside the car,” Massey said. “I’ve had people tell me they weren’t on their phones; they don’t even have their phones with them. That’s when I get dispatch to call them, and sure enough it’s ringing inside the car.”

Massey said he’s most bothered about people lying to his face about their cellphone use when children are in the car.

“Oh, I tell them, ‘You just put me in a really awkward position ‘cause you’re lying to police in front of your kids,’?” Massey said.

Now that the new law is in effect, Massey said Springfield police are treating everyone as if they have a clean slate, meaning that if a driver had two previous distracted driving tickets for cellphone use before Oct. 1, those do not count in the tally of three tickets equal possible jail time.

“Just don’t do it,” Massey said. “There’s no excuse for it. They haven’t invented an app to drive your car yet.”

Get Portland Oregon Towing Here

Need to have your car towed? Contact Fred’s Auto Removal today by calling us at (503) 810-3061 or click here to connect with us online.

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Were you just in a Portland Oregon car accident and after reviewing the damage your insurance company has told you that they are considering your car to be “totaled”?

The same thing has happened to millions of other people around the world over the last 10 years and many people are left wondering what the word “totaled” really means especially if the car still looks like it can be dive.

In this article we will break down the real meaning of the word “totaled” and give you some insight into what you can expect to happen next after your insurance company has made this distinction.

Car Totaled Definition

To keep things simple, the word “totaled” or “total loss vehicle” essentially means that your car, or the vehicle that you were driving, should not be repaired.

Why? The cost to repair the vehicle would essentially be more than the actual value of the car.

Many states also classify cars as total losses following car accidents so that if the car should somehow be sold, the future owner of the vehicle knows that the car would not be safe to operate.

Car insurance agencies determine if a vehicle is a total loss by first calculating the value of the car, once they know this number they will then determine how much money will be required to fix the car.

If the amount of money required to fix the car is more than what the car is worth then the vehicle will be classified as a “total loss”.

Some of the other reasons your car can be labeled a total loss following an automobile accident include if you were underinsured, or you only have liability only car insurance coverage.

When you’re under-insured your car insurance deductible will not cover the cost of the repairs to your vehicle.

This is especially true if you have liability only insurance coverage because your policy may only cover repairs or damages to other cars that were involved in the accident while your car will not be covered and you may be faced with having to pay for repairs to your vehicle out of pocket.

What Happens Once Your Car Has Been Officially Totaled?

After your car insurance company has determined that your car can be classified as a total loss, depending upon the amount of car insurance that you have, your car insurance company will pay you the fair market value for your vehicle.

Once you’ve been paid for your vehicle, your auto insurance company will then schedule a salvage yard to come and pick up your car and take it away for processing based on the regulations for your state.

This step is important because, it’s not ideal for a totaled car to return to market once it’s been repaired because, if a salvage title has been “washed”, an unsuspecting buyer may purchase the vehicle without any knowledge of the vehicles prior history.

“Washing” a car title is something that does occur in today’s Automotive Market because, there may be unscrupulous buyers out there who are able to fix up a totaled car with aftermarket parts.

Once the totaled car has been fixed up it’s not uncommon for the owner to sell it on the market for a quick buck, especially if the car has been moved to another state because, the owner of the totaled car can apply for a new title in the new state, essentially “washing” the title of any history related to the car being totaled.

Get Paid Cash For Your Totaled Car

If your car was recently totaled don’t accept less money than what it’s worth, call Fred’s Auto Removal today to get paid cash for your junk car. Contact us at (503) 810-1061 or CLICK HERE to connect with us online.

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