PORTLAND -- This week police are cracking down on distracted drivers in Oregon.
Last year, Oregon State Police stopped more than 4,000 drivers for using a cell phone. Officers noted that hiding the phone isn't fooling anyone. Holding it on a speaker phone is illegal, too they warned.
Authorities believe many drivers underestimate the risk. In 2011, there were more than 200 crashes involving drivers on a cell phone. Four of those crashes were fatal.
Oregon Senate President Peter Courtney has introduced legislation increasing the penalty for using a cell phone while driving. Senate Bill 9 would quadruple the fine for drivers using a hand-held cell phone.
"The one thing you are saying, if you come into the state of Oregon and you text on your cell phone while you are driving a car, you take your chances because if you get hit it is going to cost you $1,000 dollars," said the democrat from Salem.
The bill also calls for roadside signs warning about the dangers of distracted drivers.