Bill to raise Oregon speeds heads to governor

| 9/4/2003

Drivers in Oregon might soon be able to drive a little faster under a bill given final approval by state lawmakers Aug. 22.

The measure would allow the Oregon Transportation Department to raise the speed limit on certain sections of rural interstates to 65 mph for trucks and 70 mph for cars. Those limits are currently 55 and 65, respectively.

HB2661, sponsored by Rep. Mitch Greenlick, D-Portland, narrowly passed the Senate 16-14 after blowing through the House 46-13. It now heads to Gov. Ted Kulongoski.

The bill’s passage would not guarantee higher speeds, The Statesman Journal reported.

Under the bill, a community would have to request that ODOT conduct a study. If the agency determined it would be safe to increase the speed on a specific stretch of highway, the state could do so.

The bill would not affect the 55 mph limit on interstates in Portland, Salem, Eugene and other urban areas.