Speeders beware: Senate OKs photo-radar bill
Posted by The Oregonian June 06, 2007 13:12PM

The State Legislature gave final approval Wednesday to a bill would set up a trial photo-radar program for highway work zones.

House Bill 2466, made it out of the Senate with a 21 to 9 vote, but not before some Senators spoke their piece about an unrelated House amendment to the bill that expands photo-radar use to Gladstone, Milwaukie and Oregon City. Currently only seven other cities can use the technology.

Senate Majority Leader Kate Brown, a Portland Democrat, said the pilot highway program was essential to worker and motorist safety. The legislature would receive reports on the program every other year, and it could be allowed to expire in 2014 if results weren't positive.

That may be the case, but the amendment to add the three cities was one more step down a slippery slope, said Sen. Bruce Starr, a Hillsboro Republican.

"I'm troubled by it because we're basically making it available statewide," Starr said. What's more, "this bill will not get in the way of careless drivers, and it's careless drivers" who are likely to hurt construction workers.

Sen. Vicki Walker, a Eugene Democrat, who voted no on previous legislation to expand other automated traffic enforcers said she was considering voting for the legislation until the amendment was attached. The highway safety portion was fine by her, but "I'm not going to add any more cities to this photo radar stuff."

The bill now goes to the governor for his signature.

--Ryan Kost (ryankost@news.oregonian.com)