Oregon laws targeting red-light runners, drunken drivers effective Jan. 1

| 12/28/2007

As soon as the calendar turns over to Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2008, two new laws will take effect in Oregon. They are intended to make roadways in the state a little safer. One allows a lot more automated cameras to be posted throughout the state while the other is aimed at drunken drivers.

The red-light camera law lifts current restrictions that allow only cities with populations of more than 30,000, and Newberg in Yamhill County, to install and operate the equipment. Currently, Portland is limited to 12 photo-enforced intersections, and Beaverton, Newberg and Medford are limited to eight.

The new law allows cities of all sizes to put up as many cameras as they want.

The cameras snap pictures of red-light runners’ vehicle tags. Tickets are mailed to the vehicles’ owners, regardless of who was driving at the time.

Another new law requires first-time offenders of the state’s law against driving under the influence of intoxicants to use breath-testing ignition interlocks on their vehicles. Offenders will be required to use the devices for at least one year.

Oregon law already requires DUII offenders to use the devices for their first six months back behind the wheel.

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

– By Keith Goble, state legislative editor