Gov. Kotek signs bill allowing use of photo radar in all Oregon cities

PORTLAND, Ore. (KGW) — All cities in Oregon will soon be allowed to use photo radar to enforce speed limits. Governor Tina Kotek signed a bill on Monday, expanding photo radar enforcement statewide.

Under House Bill 2095, all cities can opt-in to use photo radar as long as they pay for the costs of operating it. Previously, only 10 cities statewide had the authorization: Portland, Gladstone, Milwaukie, Oregon City, Beaverton, Tigard, Bend, Eugene, Albany and Medford.

The bill eliminates restrictions on the number of hours each day that photo radar can operate in a single location. It also gives cities more authority to adjust speeds for certain residential streets up to 10 miles per hour lower than the statutory speed.

House Bill 2095 passed the Oregon Senate in late April with bipartisan support, after passing in the House.

Many mayors around the state expressed their support for the bill before the governor signed it, including Gresham Mayor Travis Stovall, who called automated speed enforcement “essential” for keeping pedestrians and bicyclists safe.

“During and after COVID-19, we have seen school zones and the surrounding areas become less safe due to speeding and less police presence,” Stovall said in written testimony.

Sherwood Mayor Tim Rosener also spoke in favor of the bill and said photo radar would free up limited police resources to focus on higher-priority calls.

“With the advent of crowd-sourced navigation apps, we are seeing a dramatic increase in traffic cutting through (our) neighborhoods with a disregard for safety and speed limits. Mobile photo enforcement is critical,” Rosener said in written testimony.

Beaverton Mayor Lacey Beaty also testified in support of the bill back in January. Beaverton and Portland were the first cities in Oregon allowed to use photo radar in a 1995 pilot program. Beaverton began using photo red lights in 2001.

According to Beaverton city leaders, most recent photo radar data from 2021 and 2022 shows about 75% of citations were given to people with driver’s licenses outside of Beaverton.

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