Bill to raise Oregon speed limits moves forward

| Thursday, August 21, 2003

A bill that would raise speed limits on Oregon’s rural interstate highways has been approved by the House.

HB2661 would allow some speed limits to be raised for cars to 70 mph. And while the speed limit would still be split, trucks would now be able to travel at 65 mph on some roads, rather than the current 55 mph.

However, before speed limits can be raised, the state’s Department of Transportation must conduct studies to determine whether the new speed is safe.

The bill had been approved previously by both the House and Senate, but was amended by both. After receiving a conference committee report, the House voted in favor of the measure 46-13.

The Senate may vote on HB2661 in the next few days.

Another bill, HB2501, that also would have increased speed limits passed the House earlier this year but apparently stalled in the Senate. That measure passed the House in April and was approved by the Senate Committee on Transportation and Economic Development June 12. However, no action has been taken on the bill since June 26.

According to The Salem Statesman Journal, in 2001, a bill containing similar provisions was also approved in both the House and Senate. However, Gov. John Kitzhaber vetoed that bill.

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