New Oregon Motor Vehicle Law Taking Effect in 2019

ShellyGraham | January 15, 2019| Article & News


By Zach Walsh
Attorney, McKean Smith 

Oregon motor vehicle laws consistently change. 2019 will not be different and it is important to stay up to date. Here are some of the new laws taking effect in 2019:

Vehicular Hit and Run

House Bill 4055 makes several changes to the offense of Failure to Perform the Duties of a Driver, commonly referred to as hit and run. The bill states:

  • If a driver believes their vehicle may have hit something, they must stop their vehicle and investigate what if anything was struck, and appropriately act, if something was hit.
  • If a driver finds they may have been involved in an accident, after the accident happened, the driver must act. The type of accident requires the driver to respond in the following manner:
    • If a driver believes a person was injured or killed, the driver must call 911 and provide information.
    • If the driver believes that only property was damaged, the driver must provide insurance and contact information to the property owner.
    • If there is reason to believe a domesticated animal was injured or killed, the driver must assess and provide attention to the animal and contact its owner.

License Suspensions and Hardship Permits

Senate Bill 1538 repeals or amends several statutes regarding license suspensions and Hardship Permits in the following manner.

  • License suspensions unrelated to driving, for example, littering, theft of gasoline, and certain drug offenses will be eliminated.
  • Court ordered license suspensions for juvenile or youth offenses like Minor in Possession or Misrepresentation of Age will be permissive rather than mandatory.
  • Probationary Permits for people whose licenses are revoked and substitutes Hardship Permits will be eliminated.
  • Drivers convicted of their second DUII within five years will no longer be able to obtain a Hardship Permit. That means two DUII convictions within five years will result in a 3 years license suspension, no exceptions.

Distracted Driving Law Clarifications

House Bill 4116 addresses several issues regarding Oregon’s distracted driving laws. Prior laws authorized sentences of discharge for first offenses if the driver takes a distracted driving class. House Bill makes it clear that the sentence of discharge in exchange for passing a safety course means the entire fine must be waived.

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