12/2/2005Coburg, Oregon Speed Trap Returns
The city of Coburg, Oregon, population 969, will take in $630,000 in speeding ticket revenue.
Despite efforts by the Oregon legislature to shut down speed trap operations, the city of Coburg is on track to collect 37 percent of its annual revenue from speeding tickets this year. In 2003, state legislators adopted the "Coburg law," a measure aimed at protecting motorists who pass near the tiny city of 969 residents along the Interstate 5 freeway.
The law, which took effect January 2004, prevented a city from retaining fines issued on property -- such as the freeway -- beyond its city limits. As a result, Coburg's budget plunged $600,000 into the red.
The city responded by annexing a portion of Interstate 5, its main source of revenue, allowing the city to keep ticket profits once again. The maneuver has brought ticket revenue back to a level of $53,000 a month, and Coburg expects to take in even more when statewide traffic fine increases take effect in January.