Oregon’s driving disincentive bill advances

| 6/24/2003

A bill designed to persuade Oregonians to spend less time behind the wheel by offering commuters reduced insurance rates is headed to the governor’s office, Salem’s Statesman Journal reported.

Under the proposal, Oregon would give tax credits to insurance companies that offer drivers per-mile premium rates instead of fixed yearly rates. The five-year credit program would last from 2005 to 2010.

The Senate voted 16-11 June 19 to send HB2043 to Gov. Ted Kulongoski, who reportedly hasn’t taken a position on the bill. It earlier passed the House 41-16.

Supporters said offering lower insurance rates would make drivers think twice before getting behind the wheel and reduce the need to build more roads.

Sen. Bruce Starr, R-Hillsboro, cited statistics showing that the average family in the Portland area uses a vehicle for nine trips per day — to work, school, after-school events, shopping and other activities.

“If we could reduce that average by one trip a day, it could have big benefits,” both in terms of reducing pollution and traffic congestion, Starr told the newspaper.