6/17/2005Oregon Senate Votes to Legalize Unreasonable Speeding Tickets
Oregon state Senate approves measure that would eliminate the 'reasonable speed' defense to traffic tickets
Oregon's state Senate yesterday voted 21-7 to allow police to issue speeding tickets to motorists who are driving reasonable speeds. Under current law, motorists ticketed for exceeding a posted speed limit may argue in court that they, for instance, were driving on a straight and deserted road at a rate of speed reasonable and prudent for the given conditions. Police at times must prove to the judge that driving a few miles per hour over a posted limit is actually imprudent given the circumstances.
If Senate Bill 592, sponsored by Senator Floyd Prozanski (D-Eugene) is enacted, judges will not be allowed to consider this defense except on highways. The bill must be approved by the state House and signed by the governor before becoming law.
73rd OREGON LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY--2005 Regular Session
Senate Bill 592, A-Engrossed
Ordered by the Senate June 10
Including Senate Amendments dated June 10
Sponsored by Senator PROZANSKI; Senator MORRISETTE,
Does not allow consideration of reasonable and prudent factors for violation of basic speed rule if person exceeds certain speeds on any highway except for interstate highway.
A BILL FOR AN ACT
Relating to basic speed rule; creating new provisions; and amending ORS 811.100.
Be It Enacted by the People of the State of Oregon:
SECTION 1. ORS 811.100 is amended to read:
811.100. (1) A person commits the offense of violating the basic speed rule if the person drives a vehicle upon a highway at a speed greater than is reasonable and prudent, having due regard to all of the following:
(a) The traffic.
(b) The surface and width of the highway.
(c) The hazard at intersections.
(f) Any other conditions then existing.
(2) Notwithstanding the factors considered under subsection (1) of this section, a speed is not reasonable and prudent and a person commits the offense of violating the basic speed rule if the person drives a vehicle upon any highway except for an interstate highway, as defined in ORS 377.710, at a speed greater than the designated speed if the designated speed is less than 55 miles per hour.
(3) The following apply to the offense described in this section:
(a) The offense is as applicable on an alley as on any other highway.
(b) Speeds that are prima facie evidence of violation of this section are established by ORS 811.105.
(c) This section and ORS 811.105 establish limitation on speeds that are in addition to speed limits established in ORS 811.111.
(4) Except as provided in subsection
(5) of this section, violation of the basic speed rule by exceeding the speed specified in
subsection (2) of this section or by exceeding a designated speed posted under ORS 810.180 is punishable as provided in ORS 811.109.
(5) The offense described in this section, violating the basic speed rule, is a Class B traffic
violation if the person drives a vehicle upon a highway at a speed that is not reasonable and prudent under the circumstances described in subsection (1) of this section even though the speed
is lower than the appropriate speed specified in ORS 811.105 as prima facie evidence of violation of the basic speed rule.
SECTION 2. The amendments to ORS 811.100 by section 1 of this 2005 Act apply to offenses committed on or after the effective date of this 2005 Act.