Re: “Governor signs dozens of bills into law” (June 29, Page B3):

Thanks to Gov. Mills and to our legislators – especially Sen. Bill Diamond – for enacting a full ban on the use of handheld devices while driving. I wish, though, that the penalties were stronger; $50 for a first infraction simply isn’t enough to deter drivers from their addiction to texting and jabbering on their phones while behind the wheel.

I have, however, a fundamental question: Are police departments actually going to enforce this law? In Portland, where drivers routinely and heedlessly run red lights, exceed speed limits and cut off pedestrians crossing with the legal right of way in crosswalks, I have never seen a driver pulled over or ticketed.

Last week, I was cut off (once again) while crossing in a crosswalk, with the green light and pedestrian clock showing ample time. Right behind that motorist was a Portland Police Department vehicle; I waved it down and asked whether the officer was going to give the offending driver a ticket. No response; the officer just proceeded on his way.

There is no point in passing laws if they aren’t going to be enforced.

Ellen D. Murphy


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