SPRINGFIELD, Ore. -- With more people being caught driving while on their phones, one local driving school is seeing an increase in enrollment in their distracted driving class.
The Lane County Driving School said this week their distracted driving class will be teaching 15 students instead of their usual five per session. The increase comes as more people are being cited for being on their phones while behind the wheel.
According to data from the Eugene Police Department, they have written 94 citations since July for distracted driving. Instructor Brad Folsom said a lot of his people he has taught were caught on their phones at a traffic light, in a parking lot or even in a restaurant drive-thru.
"First they come in a little angry. They want to yell at somebody, and I get that, and I take that fear away from them, let them understand that it is a relaxed atmosphere, and they seem to respond. They always walk out with some kind of knowledge that they never heard before about defensive driving," Folsom said.
For first offenders, they have the option of enrolling in a class like Folsom's for $50 or pay the fine. But if someone is caught again using their phone behind the wheel during their 10-year probation period, the next fine could be anywhere between $500 and $2,500. The third offense could lead to $62,000 fine or a year in jail.