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Cell Phones Pose Risks To Portland Drivers, Bicyclists and Pedestrians

The Portland Police recently did a traffic sweep in one of the busiest areas of the city, targeting potentially dangerous behaviors among drivers, bicyclists, and pedestrians. Overwhelmingly, the largest number of tickets handed out concerned drivers talking, texting, or otherwise using their cellphones while behind the wheel. As a form of distracted driving, cell phone use among motorists is blamed for numerous personal injuries each year. However, using a phone in other situations, such as when biking, walking, or at work, can increase your risks as well.

Cell Phone Use Continues To Create Problems On Portland Roads

On a recent Monday morning, the Portland Police Bureau set out on a traffic safety mission, targeting the types of behaviors that lead to accidents and serious personal injuries. According to news reports from KATU TV Channel 2, the sweep occurred on December 10, 2018 as part of the city’s Vision Zero plan. The program aims at making the transportation system safer and reducing the overall number of traffic incidents and fatalities over the next ten years.

The sweep was conducted on North Interstate Avenue, between Multnomah and Lombard Streets. It is one of the busiest sections of road in the city in terms of motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians, and is also one of the most dangerous in terms of traffic accidents. Over the course of several hours, officers handed out more than 21 citations to motorists, over half of which were for using cell phones while driving. Under the Oregon Code, it is illegal to use a handheld cell phone behind the wheel, though there are some exceptions such as being stopped at a red light or summoning an emergency vehicle.  

Cell Phones a Problems for More than Just Drivers

Cell phones are a major distraction in general. Computer World lists numerous studies showing that simply having a cell phone on at home, work, or in school can divert your attention from tasks at hand. Besides motor vehicle operators, this can prove dangerous in a variety of situations:

  • For pedestrians, talking on the phone, texting, or taking pictures can cause them to ignore important traffic signs and signals;
  • For bicyclists, using earbuds on your phone could drown out warnings of impending accidents, such as tires screeching or car horns, while a ringing or vibrating phone could cause you to swerve into traffic;
  • For workers, checking calls, texting, or reading emails on their phones while on the job could distract them from important tasks and put them at risk, particularly when operating tools or heavy machinery.

Unfortunately, those distracted by cell phones risk not only their own safety, but the wellbeing of those around them as well.

Contact Us Today for Help

At the Johnston Law Firm, we represent victims in a variety of personal injury cases and we know how being distracted is often a common factor. If you are hurt as the result of another’s actions, contact our Portland attorneys at (503) 546-3167 and request a consultation today.


Marc Johnston

Lead Attorney at Johnston Law Firm, P.C.

Based in downtown Portland, Marc A. Johnston is the owner and managing attorney of the award-winning, internationally-known personal injury law firm, Johnston Law Firm, P.C. Marc's career has been dedicated to representing the injured and individuals who have been treated unfairly by an insurance company. His focus on trial law creates the backbone of the Johnston Law Firm — a firm that is ready to go the distance in seeking justice for its clients.