Oregon governor signs driving disincentive law

| 7/11/2003

Gov. Ted Kulongoski has signed into law a bill designed to persuade Oregonians to spend less time behind the wheel by offering commuters reduced insurance rates, the Statesman Journal reported.

The governor signed HB2043 July 3 giving tax credits to insurance companies that offer Oregon drivers per-mile premium rates instead of fixed yearly rates. The five-year credit program will last from 2005 to 2010, and be limited to $1 million.

Supporters of the new pay-as-you-drive law say 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.