It would never get past the governor anyway. He wouldn't sign for 70 during his previous 2 terms.
Unfortunately, yes, which means pretty much nothing is going to get done by the legislature on that front until (at least) 2014, at least not without some very clever political maneuvering.
Given the last time the matter was "studied" only to conclude that many of the highway stretches were so remote that they were too far away from a major trauma hospital to tend to victims of high speed collisions... Of course with criteria like that nothing will get done.
I'm surprised Oregon's Legislature hasn't passed a 50 MPH statewide maximum speed limit (with 35 in the Portland metro area...)
That "study" was a ridiculous joke. I happened to finally run across it [link for those who are curious]
the other day after a long while searching. I found it rather funny that rather than having the main state highway engineering schools (OSU and OIT) do it, they farmed it out to PSU and OHSU, probably with the full knowledge that they'd produce a report that would keep the status quo.
And actually, Rep. Bob Jenson (from Pendleton, no less) actually tried re-instating a 55mph maximum with HB 2548 in 2009
. Fortunately, it didn't get anywhere.
I'm friends with someone who's dad is pretty high up in ODOT, and I had a talk with him about speed limits. According to him, the reason why the state speed limit is set at 65 is because there's a hard law in place where the car traffic MUST be no more than 10 MPH above truck traffic. Their reasoning is due to the fact most motorists don't give sufficient room when passing trucks, so trucks are forced to brake.
Actually, that's not at all true. The only specification is that there must be a split speed, with the truck speed being a minimum of 5mph lower. There's no maximum split size specified. Allow me to quote ORS 810.180 (3)
(I've added a bold annotation to highlight the pertinent bit).
(3) The Department of Transportation may establish by rule designated speeds on any specified section of interstate highway if the department determines that speed limits established under ORS 811.111 (1) are greater or less than is reasonable or safe under the conditions that exist with respect to that section of the interstate highway. Designated speeds established under this subsection are subject to all of the following:
(a) The department may not establish a designated speed under this subsection of more than:
(A) Sixty-five miles per hour for vehicles described in ORS 811.111 (1)(b); and
(B) Seventy miles per hour for all other vehicles.
(b) If the department establishes designated speeds under this subsection that are greater than 65 miles per hour, the designated speed for vehicles described in ORS 811.111 (1)(b) (read: trucks, school buses, etc.) must be at least five miles per hour lower than the designated speed for all other vehicles on the specified section of interstate highway.
(c) The department may establish a designated speed under this subsection only if an engineering and traffic investigation indicates that the statutory speed for the interstate highway is greater or less than is reasonable or safe under conditions the department finds to exist.
(d) A designated speed established under this subsection is effective when appropriate signs giving notice of the designated speed are posted on the section of interstate highway where the designated speed is imposed.
The statutory speed limits defined in ORS 811.111
for interstates conforms to the current maximum--65 Cars/55 Trucks. Nothing mandating a maximum split size there either.
Since Oregon allows triple trailer trucks, they refuse to increase truck speed limits from 55 to 60.
That's all the more reason to ban triples. They're evil and can barely stay in their own lane. (I speak from recent experience--I ran across one triple trying to pass another on I-5 near Woodburn a few nights ago.)
Here's an example of Oregon transportation stupidity. When a bill came up to make school speed zones 24/7, only ONE legislator opposed it. He was a cop who knew what kind of mess the law would make. People got tickets they sure didn't need to be getting and not one iota of increase in safety came from this law, which took several years to repeal and finally take all actions on.
That law was an absolute clusterbleep. The current law is miles better, but still not exactly great either--they really ought to mandate flashing lights or flags be placed to indicate when school zones are actually in effect, rather than the blanket "7am-5pm" nonsense.