Speeding Tickets in Oregon
Fighting a Speeding Ticket in Oregon
Oregon Points – Fines – Reciprocity and Other Issues
Oregon has a basic speed law that all drivers must follow no matter what road they are on. The basic law states that a driver must drive at a speed that is reasonable and prudent under the circumstances. The circumstances that Oregon requires drivers to consider when determining a reasonable and proper speed include: (a) The traffic, (b) The surface and width of the highway, (c) The hazard at intersections, (d) Weather, (e) Visibility, (f) Any other conditions then existing. Thus, the driver may be charged with a speeding violation (not driving reasonable and proper) even if they are driving at a speed that is less than the posted limit.
In addition to Oregon's basic speed law, Oregon has standard speed limits where it is presumed a driver exceeding such a speed is not driving reasonable and proper. These standard speeds set the parameters by which Oregon posts its speed limit signs. Thus, a driver who is caught violating that posted speed, is presumed to have not been driving at a reasonable and prudent speed. For information on what the statutory standards for posted speed limits are, see Oregon Statutes §811.105 and §811.111.
Under the presumed speed limit law, the State only needs to present the speeding ticket in court that says the driver was exceeding the speed limit to prove that the driver violated the basic speed law. The standard of proof is the preponderance of the evidence, i.e. the State merely has to show that it is 51% certain that you violated the law. The driver can technically rebut this presumption in court, but the reasonable and prudent standard in the Oregon basic speed law does not authorize individuals to drive at a speed greater than the posted speed limit. Therefore, the driver will have a difficult time showing that their speed was reasonable and proper if in fact they were exceeding the posted speed limit.
Additionally, Oregon requires that a driver not impede or block the normal and reasonable movement of traffic unless they need to drive at such speed for safety purposes. In other words, you can be charged with a speed law violation if you drive at such a slow speed that you impede or block traffic.