EUGENE, Ore. –You might say cab drivers already have their hands full, both literally and figuratively. And now Oregon Bill 294, passed by the state Senate on Monday, could make cabbies even busier.
This bill is creating quite a stir on social media.
Oregon Bill 294 would allow taxi cab drivers the ability to use their cell phones while driving, and some local cyclists aren’t too thrilled with the idea.
One local cycling group on Twitter, WeBikeEugene, tweeted “Cab drivers exempt from the law? No way, one almost killed me this week.”
Cyclists say taxi cab drivers already drive recklessly and that the bill would make it more treacherous for cyclists. But cab drivers KEZI 9 News spoke with say their schedule is so demanding that they do need to have access to their cell phones at all times.
“Sometimes it’s like a never ending. You’re lucky you can get out of the car to use the restroom somewhere you’re on the go so much,” said taxi cab driver Doug Drummond.
“I do still feel like anyone using a cell phone while they’re driving is going to be distracted. So I think it does increase the risk of motorists and cyclists interactions, things like that,” said cyclist Geoff Huber.
But cyclists KEZI 9 News spoke with did mention that if cab drivers do need to use their cell phones while driving, it should be a hands-free device. The bill would give taxi drivers the option to talk without such a device.
If passed, it would be added to a list of exemptions that already fall under the law, including law enforcement and public safety workers.
Bill 294 won’t be a law until it passes through the House and is signed by the governor.