Oregon’s new transportation laws include more local control over setting speed limits

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Driving license holders will be able to specify emergency contacts; other changes for deaf and homeless residents

SALEM, Oregon (KTVZ) – On January 1, several new state laws will come into effect that the Oregon Department of Transportation says will increase fairness in Oregon’s transportation system, improve safety, increase local control and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

“These new laws will help us move faster toward building a modern transportation system that minimizes negative impacts on the environment and serves all Oregon residents fairly,” said Kris Strickler, director of ODOT.

ODOT is responsible for implementing the new laws, according to Thursday’s press release, which continues in full below:

Increase security and local control

HB 3055: ODOT has the legal authority to set speed limits on all roads in Oregon. While this has ensured consistency in the application of relevant laws and rules statewide, this legislation will allow some local governments to set speeds on their roads, resulting in greater local control. , more timely speed reductions and increased safety on local road networks.

This legislation allows ODOT to delegate its statutory authority for speed adjustment to a city or county appointed for the roads under their jurisdiction.

“Local governments across Oregon are doing what they can to build a transportation system in which no one has to lose their lives on the road,” Strickler said. “Excessive speed is a constant factor, among other things, in road fatalities. Reducing speed limits, in conjunction with changes in road design and increased enforcement, can improve the safety of our roads. We don’t have to accept the loss we see on our streets. This legislation allows ODOT to remove a major obstacle to adopting safer speeds and increases local control over local roads.

HB 3125: With the speed of information online today, especially with cellphones, videos and images via social media, there is a risk that a family will learn that someone is in an emergency before that the police cannot contact the family.

Starting in 2022, holders of an Oregon driver’s license and ID card will be able to register up to two people on DMV2U.Oregon.gov, aged 18 and over, as contacts. emergency for situations where they cannot communicate. Only Oregon law enforcement personnel will be able to access emergency contact information.

Improve access and equity

HB 2498: This bill improves the safety of Oregonians who are deaf or hard of hearing by creating an option to add a notification to their driver’s license and registration card.

“This milestone is aimed at building trust and cooperation between over a million hearing-impaired Oregonians and our law enforcement agencies,” said Chad A. Ludwig, Executive Director of Bridges Oregon, “This will foster greater understanding communication needs while protecting and facilitating a solid relationship with law enforcement.

Ludwig said more than half (51.7%) of deaf and hard of hearing Oregon residents had difficulty communicating with police, according to a survey by Denise Thew Hackett, a PhD. at Western Oregon University.

The flag will be voluntary and drivers will be able to register at any time through DMV2U.Oregon.gov.

HB 3026: According to Pew Charitable Trusts, many homeless people do not have photo ID due to the cost and difficulty keeping required personal documents. A National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty (NLCHP) study found that 36% of clients couldn’t get photo ID because they couldn’t afford it, and homeless people saw each other deny additional security income, temporary help to needy families, food stamps, access to shelters or housing services, and Medicaid or medical services. The NLCHP study also found that people without ID face increased difficulties with law enforcement.

From later in 2022, homeless people will no longer have to pay fees to receive, renew or replace their ID cards. ODOT will develop rules and partner with homeless service organizations to certify an individual’s eligibility for the waiver and provide a form to bring to DMV to apply. More information on how this program will be administered will be available soon.

HB 2985: Legislation directed ODOT to diversify specific advisory committees to reflect Oregon’s racial, ethnic, and ability makeup. ODOT’s actions have a huge impact on communities across Oregon. To ensure that all Oregon residents have a voice in the process, we intend to apply this direction not only to the committees listed in the measure, but also to the various ODOT advisory committees as they arise. measurement of recruitments of new members.

Reduce greenhouse gases

HB 2165: Oregon residents who want to switch to an electric vehicle and significantly reduce their carbon emissions can now do so knowing that rebates will be available to subsidize that purchase. This legislation removed the funding sunset for Oregon’s Charge Ahead EV rebate program, funded by a vehicle lien tax created by the passage of HB 2017 (Transportation Funding Package). The program was originally scheduled to expire in 2024. The eligibility and value of Charge Ahead discounts have been changed to make the program more accessible. Electric vehicle adoption has lagged behind state targets, but recently jumped with a 70% increase in registrations in 2021 compared to 2020.


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