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6/7/2007
Oregon Adopts Freeway Speed Cameras
The Oregon legislature adopts a bill that puts speed cameras on freeways and expands the use of ticketing cameras.

Oregon state capital
Oregon state lawmakers yesterday sent a measure to the governor that will expand dramatically the use of speed cameras in the state. The bill for the first time authorizes the use of photo radar on freeways. It passed in the House last month with a 47-8 vote and a 21-9 vote in the Senate yesterday.

Oregon officials recognized the success of other freeway speed camera programs in the country. Scottsdale, Arizona racked up 90,344 citations worth a minimum of $14,184,008 in less than a year's time. Similarly, the state of Illinois last year turned to speed cameras to issue automated tickets worth up to $1000 each.

Like the Arizona and Illinois programs, Oregon photo radar citations will carry license demerit points that increase insurance rates. Those receiving a ticket in the mail may sign a notice asserting that they were not driving to have the ticket dismissed.

The state department of transportation will set up the new speed traps in highway work zones where the speed limit has been lowered. Either the Oregon State Patrol or local police will operate the cameras under the direction of department officials. At least one "worker" must be present for citations to be valid. The freeway ticketing program will sunset on December 31, 2014.

The legislation also adds Gladstone, Milwaukie and Oregon City to the list of cities that are allowed to operate speed cameras on city streets. Every two years, cities using the automated ticketing machines will produce a report claiming safety benefits to the program for submission to the legislature.

Earlier this week, the legislature voted to expand massively the use of red light cameras by allowing small towns with a population of 10,000 or more to install the ticketing devices. Both proposals becomes law upon the signature of Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski (D).

Article Excerpt:
House Bill 2466
Ordered by the Senate June 4
Including House Amendments dated May 11 and Senate Amendments dated June 4

Sponsored by Representative LIM; Representatives BARKER, HUNT, KOMP


A BILL FOR AN ACT
Relating to photo radar; creating new provisions; and amending ORS 810.438 and 810.439.
Be It Enacted by the People of the State of Oregon:

SECTION 1. ORS 810.438 is amended to read:
810.438. (1) The following jurisdictions may, at their own cost, operate photo radar:
(a) Albany.
(b) Beaverton.
(c) Bend.
(d) Eugene.
(e) Gladstone.
(f) Medford.
(g) Milwaukie.
(h) Oregon City.
(i) Portland.
(j) Tigard.
(2) A photo radar system operated under this section:
(a) May be used on streets in residential areas or school zones.
(b) May be used in other areas if the governing body of the city makes a finding that speeding has had a negative impact on traffic safety in those areas.
(c) May not be used for more than four hours per day in any one location.
(d) May not be used on controlled access highways.
(e) May not be used unless a sign is posted announcing 'Traffic Laws Photo Enforced'. The sign posted under this paragraph must be all of the following:
(A) On the street on which the photo radar unit is being used.
(B) Between 100 and 400 yards before the location of the photo radar unit.
(C) At least two feet above ground level.

(3) A city that operates a photo radar system under this section shall, once each biennium, conduct a process and outcome evaluation for the purposes of subsection (4) of this section that includes:
(a) The effect of the use of the photo radar system on traffic safety;
(b) The degree of public acceptance of the use of the photo radar system; and
(c) The process of administration of the use of the photo radar system.

(4) By March 1 of the year of each regular session of the Legislative Assembly:
(a) The Department of Transportation shall provide to the Legislative Assembly an executive summary of the process and outcome evaluations conducted under subsection (3) of this section; and
(b) Each city that operates a photo radar system under this section shall present to the Legislative Assembly the process and outcome evaluation conducted by the city under subsection(3) of this section.

SECTION 2. ORS 810.439 is amended to read:
810.439. (1) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, in the jurisdictions using photo radar:
(a) A citation for speeding may be issued on the basis of photo radar if the following conditions are met:
(A) The photo radar equipment is operated by a uniformed police officer.
(B) The photo radar equipment is operated out of a marked police vehicle.
(C) An indication of the actual speed of the vehicle is displayed within 150 feet of the location of the photo radar unit.
(D) Signs indicating that speeds are enforced by photo radar are posted, so far as is practicable, on all major routes entering the jurisdiction.
(E) The citation is mailed to the registered owner of the vehicle within six business days of the alleged violation.
(F) The registered owner is given 30 days from the date the citation is mailed to respond to the citation.
(G) The jurisdiction operating photo radar complies with the requirements described in ORS 810.438.

(b) A rebuttable presumption exists that the registered owner of the vehicle was the driver of the vehicle when the citation is issued and delivered as provided in this section.

(c) A person issued a citation under this subsection may respond to the citation by submitting a certificate of innocence or a certificate of nonliability under subsection (3) of this section or may make any other response allowed by law.

(2) A citation issued on the basis of photo radar may be delivered by mail or otherwise to the registered owner of the vehicle or to the driver. The citation may be prepared on a digital medium, and the signature may be electronic in accordance with the provisions of ORS 84.001 to 84.061.

(3)(a) A registered owner of a vehicle may respond by mail to a citation issued under subsection (1) of this section by submitting a certificate of innocence within 30 days from the mailing of the citation swearing or affirming that the owner was not the driver of the vehicle and by providing a photocopy of the owner's driver license. A jurisdiction that receives a certificate of innocence under this paragraph shall dismiss the citation without requiring a court appearance by the registered
owner or any other information from the registered owner other than the swearing or affirmation and the photocopy. The citation may be reissued only once, only to the registered owner and only
if the jurisdiction verifies that the registered owner appears to have been the driver at the time of the violation. A registered owner may not submit a certificate of innocence in response to a
reissued citation.

(b) If a business or public agency responds to a citation issued under subsection (1) of this section by submitting a certificate of nonliability within 30 days from the mailing of the citation stating that at the time of the alleged speeding violation the vehicle was in the custody and control of an employee or was in the custody and control of a renter or lessee under the terms of a rental agreement or lease, and if the business or public agency provides the driver license number,
name and address of the employee, renter or lessee, the citation shall be dismissed with respect to the business or public agency. The citation may then be issued and delivered by mail or otherwise to the employee, renter or lessee identified in the certificate of nonliability.

(4) If the person named as the registered owner of a vehicle in the current records of the Department of Transportation fails to respond to a citation issued under subsection (1) of this
section, a default judgment under ORS 153.102 may be entered for failure to appear after notice has been given that the judgment will be entered.

(5) The penalties for and all consequences of a speeding violation initiated by the use of photo radar are the same as for a speeding violation initiated by any other means.

(6) A registered owner, employee, renter or lessee against whom a judgment for failure to appear is entered may move the court to relieve the owner, employee, renter or lessee from the judgment
as provided in ORS 153.105 if the failure to appear was due to mistake, inadvertence, surprise or excusable neglect.

SECTION 3. Sections 4 and 5 of this 2007 Act are added to and made a part of the Oregon Vehicle Code.

SECTION 4.
(1) The Department of Transportation may operate photo radar within a highway work zone that is located on a state highway, except for a highway work zone located on an interstate highway.

(2) The department, at its own cost, may ask a jurisdiction authorized to operate photo radar under ORS 810.438 (1) or the Oregon State Police to operate a photo radar unit in a highway
work zone on a state highway, except for a highway work zone located on an interstate highway.

(3) A photo radar unit operated under this section may not be used unless a sign is posted announcing that photo radar is in use. The sign posted under this subsection must be all of the
following:
(a) Located on the state highway on which the photo radar unit is being used.
(b) Between 100 and 400 yards before the location of the photo radar unit.

(4) The department shall, once each biennium, conduct a process and outcome evaluation for the purposes of subsection (5) of this section that includes:
(a) The effect of the use of photo radar on traffic safety;
(b) The degree of public acceptance of the use of photo radar; and
(c) The process of administration of the use of photo radar.

(5) The department shall report to the Legislative Assembly by March 1 of each odd-numbered year.

(6) As used in this section, 'highway work zone' has the meaning given that term in ORS 811.230.

SECTION 5.
(1) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, when a jurisdiction or the Oregon State Police uses photo radar in a highway work zone:

(a) A citation for speeding may be issued on the basis of photo radar if the following conditions are met:
(A) The photo radar unit is operated by a uniformed police officer.
(B) The photo radar unit is operated out of a marked police vehicle.
(C) An indication of the actual speed of the vehicle is displayed within 150 feet of the location of the photo radar unit.
(D) The citation is mailed to the registered owner of the vehicle within six business days of the alleged violation.
(E) The registered owner is given 30 days from the date the citation is mailed to respond to the citation.
(F) One or more highway workers are present. For the purposes of this subparagraph, 'highway workers' has the meaning given that term in ORS 811.230.
(G) The jurisdiction operating photo radar complies with the requirements described in section 4 of this 2007 Act.
(b) A rebuttable presumption exists that the registered owner of the vehicle was the driver of the vehicle when the citation is issued and delivered as provided in this section.
(c) A person issued a citation under this subsection may respond to the citation by submitting a certificate of innocence or a certificate of nonliability under subsection (3) of this section or may make any other response allowed by law.

(2) A citation issued on the basis of photo radar may be delivered by mail or otherwise to the registered owner of the vehicle or to the driver. The citation may be prepared on a digital medium and the signature may be electronic in accordance with the provisions of ORS 84.001 to 84.061.

(3)(a) A registered owner of a vehicle may respond by mail to a citation issued under subsection (1) of this section by submitting, within 30 days from the mailing of the citation, a certificate of innocence swearing or affirming that the owner was not the driver of the vehicle and by providing a photocopy of the owner's driver license. A jurisdiction that receives a certificate of innocence under this paragraph shall dismiss the citation without requiring a court appearance by the registered
owner or any other information from the registered owner other than the swearing or affirmation and the photocopy. The citation may be reissued only once, only to the registered owner and only
if the jurisdiction verifies that the registered owner appears to have been the driver at the time of the violation. A registered owner may not submit a certificate of innocence in response to a
reissued citation.

(b) If a business or public agency responds to a citation issued under subsection (1) of this section by submitting, within 30 days from the mailing of the citation, a certificate of nonliability stating that at the time of the alleged speeding violation the vehicle was in the custody and control of an employee, or was in the custody and control of a renter or lessee under the terms of a rental agreement or lease, and if the business or public agency provides the driver license number,
name and address of the employee, renter or lessee, the citation shall be dismissed with respect to the business or public agency. The citation may then be issued and delivered by mail or
otherwise to the employee, renter or lessee identified in the certificate of nonliability.

(4) If the person named as the registered owner of a vehicle in the current records of the Department of Transportation fails to respond to a citation issued under subsection (1) of this
section, a default judgment under ORS 153.102 may be entered for failure to appear after notice has been given that the judgment will be entered.

(5) The penalties for and all consequences of a speeding violation initiated by the use of photo radar are the same as for a speeding violation initiated by any other means.

(6) A registered owner, employee, renter or lessee against whom a judgment for failure to appear is entered may move the court to relieve the registered owner, employee, renter or lessee from the
judgment as provided in ORS 153.105 if the failure to appear was due to mistake, inadvertence, surprise or excusable neglect.

(7) As used in this section, 'highway work zone' has the meaning given that term in ORS 811.230.
SECTION 6. Sections 4 and 5 of this 2007 Act are repealed on December 31, 2014.


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