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Dispatches from public radio's correspondent at the Oregon Legislature. This is a venue for political and policy coverage of the state government in Salem and its impact on the people of Oregon.

Red-Light Cameras Could Nab Speeders, Too, Under Proposed Law

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Derek Jensen
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Wikimedia - tinyurl.com/lmd624r
Cities in Oregon may soon be allowed to allow cities to use red-light cameras to issue speeding tickets.

Red-light cameras in Oregon could soon be also nabbing drivers for speeding. The Oregon House could vote as soon as Monday on a bill that would allow cities to use the cameras to issue speeding tickets.

The cameras currently take photos of drivers who enter an intersection after the light turns red. Many of the cameras are equipped with technology that allows it to measure the time it takes a vehicle to travel between two fixed points. The camera can use that information to determine if a vehicle is speeding.

The measure would only allow speeding tickets to be issued if a driver is going at least 11 mph over the limit. If a driver is going at least 21 mph over the speed limit, and runs a red light, they could get ticketed for both offenses.

The change could result in tens of thousands of new speeding tickets issued each year in Oregon. In the Portland suburb of Beaverton, for example, legislative analysts say the city could hand out as many as 30,000 tickets in the first year.

Other cities that are ready to issue speeding tickets through red-light cameras include Portland, Medford and Sherwood. Four other cities could bring the technology online by 2019. ?

According to the Statesman Journal, the red-light cameras in Salem are not equipped to measure the speed of vehicles traveling through an intersection, and officials there told the paper the technology is not currently being considered.

No one testified against the measure when it came before two different legislative committees.