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Oregon Lawmaker Proposes Lower Speed Limits Beside Chain-Up Spots

Cheri Helt

An Oregon lawmaker said she’ll introduce a bill next month to lower the speed limit on sections of highway where people are putting chains on their vehicles.

Rep. Cheri Helt, R-Bend, drives back and forth across the Cascades many times each winter getting to and from the state capitol. Helt uses traction tires so she doesn’t usually have to chain up. But she says drivers who do install chains have to do so just a few feet away from moving traffic.

Helt said her bill would create lower speed limits for chain-up areas, similar to speed zones that exist near schools. ”When you put a chain on a tire you really have to get down on the ground and get under the car to get that chain on there, and so you’re laying on the ground while cars are driving in icy conditions,” she said.

Helt said the lower limits would only be in effect when the chain-up area is in use. She said the idea for the bill came from a constituent whose husband is a truck driver.

Chris Lehman has been reporting on Oregon issues since 2006. He joined the KLCC news department in December, 2018. Chris was born and raised in Pennsylvania, and graduated from Temple University with a degree in journalism. His public broadcasting career includes stops in Louisiana and Illinois. Chris has filed for national programs including “Morning Edition” and “All Things Considered.”
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