Oregon ticket cameras to pull double duty

By Keith Goble, Land Line state legislative editor | Monday, October 16, 2017

Communities in Oregon that employ red-light cameras now have expanded ability to issue additional automated tickets.

A new state law now in effect allows red-light camera systems to also be used to nab speeders. There are 11 communities around the state that already have red-light systems in place.

Approved by the Oregon Legislature this year, the new law limits distribution of automated tickets to instances when drivers are exceeding the posted speed by at least 11 mph.

Cameras are permitted to be mounted on street lights or “other appropriate place.”

Previously HB2409, the new law specifies that citations cannot be issued for both speeding and running a red light. An exception would be made for instances when a driver is exceeding the posted speed by more than 20 mph.

The city of Beaverton is expected to be the first community to take advantage of the new ticketing authority, according to the Oregon Legislature’s Legislative Revenue Office. The community, which is west of Portland, is expected to collect about 30,000 citations in fiscal year 2018.

The cities of Portland, Medford and Sherwood are expected to have their ticketing systems converted in the next year. Tualatin, Fairview, Bend and Grants Pass are expected to follow soon thereafter.

Portland already has stand-alone speed cameras posted in multiple areas. State law has permitted the city to operate fixed photo radar on “high-crash urban corridors.”

Critics question the accuracy of speed cameras. Instead, they say ticketing systems instead are aimed right at drivers’ wallets.

Officials with the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association say the focus on the revenue-generating devices ignores the more logical and reasoned approach to roads and traffic: keep traffic moving in as safe a manner as possible.

To view other legislative activities of interest for Oregon, click here.

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