Oregon speed bill moves forward

| 4/10/2003

The Oregon House passed a bill April 7 to raise the speed limit on the state's major thoroughfares.

HB2501, sponsored by Rep. Randy Miller, R-Lake Oswego, gives the Oregon Department of Transportation the option of increasing the current speed limit of 55 mph for trucks and 65 mph for cars on the state's freeways. The measure would allow new maximums of 65 mph for trucks and 70 mph for cars.

The bill, which was recently amended to reduce the proposed hike in car speeds from 75 mph, would authorize ODOT to consult with other state and local police, transportation and highway officials and interest groups and to decide whether the speed limit for a particular stretch of freeway should be changed.

Miller has tried and failed several times in the past to introduce similar bills, but all were blocked by former Gov. John Kitzhaber.

Gov. Ted Kulongoski isn't promising a veto, but he has some questions about the bill, the governor's spokeswoman, Mary Ellen Glynn, told The Oregonian. His biggest concern, she said, is the recent cutbacks in state police patrols, and how that might affect enforcement.

“We'll see what happens in the Senate,” she said.