Oregon has two types of speeding laws: a “basic speeding law” and “absolute limits.” This article explains the differences between the two and the consequences of a speeding violation.
Oregon’s basic speeding law prohibits driving at a speed that is “greater than is reasonable and prudent” given the current road, traffic, and weather conditions. In other words, motorists must always drive at a safe speed. What a safe speed is will depend on the circumstances. For instance, 55 miles per hour might be safe on a bright, sunny day. But if it’s dark and the road is icy, going 55 miles per hour could be dangerous and a violation of the basic speeding law.
There is no trick to how Oregon’s absolute speed limits work: If the fixed speed limit is 50 miles per hour and you drive faster than that, you’ve violated the law. Unless otherwise posted, Oregon’s absolute speed limits are:
Speeding violation consequences depend on the circumstances. But generally, the penalties—which typically depend on the amount by which the driver exceeded the speed limit—are as follows:
Depending on the circumstances, a speeding violation can lead to a “reckless driving” conviction. A standard first offense is a class A misdemeanor and carries up to a year in jail and a maximum $6,250 in fines. And with speeding violations that result in the death of another person, vehicular homicide charges are a possibility.