Starting this Friday, Jan. 1, Oregon is joining the hands-free movement that makes it a traffic violation to hold your cell phone while driving.
That means no more text messaging, updating your Facebook status from your iPhone, or dialing your BFF from behind the wheel. (Exceptions to Oregon's hands-free law include drivers who are summoning medical or emergency help, who are “farming or performing agricultural operations” and who are providing emergency or public safety services.)
Hands-free cell phones will still be allowed while driving, though some studies have shown they're also dangerous to use
Here are some other numbers to keep in mind as you consider the new law:
: Number of states, now including Oregon, that have jurisdiction-wide bans on driving while talking on a hand-held cell phone (California, Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, and Washington).
: The fine in Oregon for violators of the new ban.
: The percentage of all traffic accidents that are caused by distracted drivers, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
: Number of current cell phone users in the world.
: Percentage of vehicles sold in the United States that offer Bluetooth technology
as standard or optional equipment
: The cost of Amosu Luxury Ltd.'s Diamond MotoPure H12, the world's most expensive Bluetooth headset
: The amount of money you can pay (plus $3.74 in shipping hand handling) for a compatible hands-free device by visiting http://www.freeheadset.org/
: How much money
the state of New York collected in fees from drivers who violated that state's hands-free law in its first three years.