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More Oregon cities may now install photo radar, but motorists won’t see new devices just yet

Closeup of a roadside box containing photo radar
A photo radar camera

A new law went into effect this year that allows all Oregon cities to use photo radar to enforce speed limits. But motorists shouldn’t expect to see a flood of new cameras right away.

Before 2024, ten Oregon municipalities had the authority to use photo radar: Albany, Beaverton, Bend, Eugene, Gladstone, Medford, Milwaukie, Oregon City, Portland and Tigard.

But now that it’s allowed statewide, some cities say they don’t intend to install any devices. Both the Springfield and Corvallis Police Departments told KLCC they have no plans to initiate a program.

According to a spokesperson, Springfield uses “visual speed devices” to alert drivers to their speeds, but the equipment doesn’t record video or generate tickets. It’s installed based on neighborhood complaints, and motorcycle patrols follow up where needed.

And, according to the League of Oregon Cities, which supported the bill, some wording in the law needs to be changed in the 2024 legislative session before cities can implement fixed photo radar.

Specifically, the text of the bill inadvertently included language that states an officer needs to be present with any fixed photo radar equipment, but that was not the intent of the law.

Jim McCauley with the League of Oregon Cities said Portland has used the technology for several years, and it has "proven significant improvement in overall safety on corridors where fixed speed photo radar is in place."

Karen Richards joined KLCC as a volunteer reporter in 2012, and became a freelance reporter at the station in 2015. In addition to news reporting, she’s contributed to several feature series for the station, earning multiple awards for her reporting.