New Oregon Law Bars Young Drivers From Using Wireless Communication Devices While Driving

Starting today, House Bill 2872 outlaws anyone younger than 18 with a permit or a provisional driver’s license (which places limitations on the first year and a half teens have their licenses), from using a cell phone or other wireless communication devices while driving. The ban includes hands-free technology.

The only exceptions to this law are for teens who are calling for emergency response or who are operating farm equipment.

If a teen is cited for operating a wireless communication device, it is considered a Class D traffic violation and comes with a $97 fine. They may also receive a conviction on their record that counts toward the driver improvement program. With the driver improvement program, drivers can lose their licenses if they have too many accidents or tickets.

Below is the Oregon Statute for this law.


Section 2 of this 2007 Act is added to and made a part of the Oregon Vehicle Code.


(1) A person under 18 years of age commits the offense of operating a motor vehicle while using a mobile communication device if the person, while operating a motor vehicle on a highway, uses a mobile communication device and the person holds: (a) A provisional driver license issued under ORS 807.065; (b) A special student driver permit issued under ORS 807.230; or (c) An instruction driver permit issued under ORS 807.280.

(2) For purposes of this section, “mobile communication device” means a text messaging device or a wireless, two-way communication device designed to receive and transmit voice or text communication.

(3) This section does not apply: (a) To a person who is summoning medical or other emergency help if no other person in the vehicle is capable of summoning help; or (b) To a person using a mobile communication device for the purpose of farming or agricultural operations.

(4) Notwithstanding ORS 810.410, a police officer may enforce this provision only as a secondary action when a driver of a motor vehicle has been detained for a suspected traffic violation or some other offense.

(5) The offense described in this section, operating a motor vehicle while using a mobile communication device, is a Class D traffic violation.