Oregon Safe Roads Coalition to monitor signature verification process and stay vigilant in protecting the public safety law

October 7, 2013 – Last week, opponents of SB 833, a bipartisan law passed by the Oregon Legislature in 2013 that directs the Department of Transportation to issue driver cards to Oregonians who pass a driver’s test and provide proof of Oregon residency, submitted signatures to the Secretary of State’s office in an effort to repeal the law.

The Oregon Safe Roads Coalition, made up of leaders from the business, law enforcement, and faith communities, express disappointment in SB 833 opponents’ attempt to repeal the bipartisan law by confusing the issue and causing a delay in its implementation.

SB 833 is a common sense, public safety measure designed to improve traffic safety and reduce the number of unlicensed and uninsured motorists on Oregon’s roads. 

“Oregon needs SB 833 because all drivers need to be able to take a driver test and know the rules of the road,” said Ron Louie, former Chief of the Hillsboro Police Department. “A referral of this measure to the ballot means that implementation of the law will be delayed, stalling a common sense measure that makes Oregon a safer place to live.”

“We are disappointed that a small but vocal minority has prevented this public safety measure from taking effect,” said Jeff Stone, Executive Director of the Oregon Association of Nurseries. “This group’s effort was funded primarily from one out of state donor. We do not believe that their views represent the majority voice in Oregon that is ready to see laws like this take effect to make our roads safer.”

“From the perspective of the Portland Police Bureau,” remarked Mike Reese, Chief of the Portland Police Bureau, “this [law] will enhance the safety and well-being of all Oregon drivers.”

Although the opposition group to the public safety law say they have enough signatures, those signatures must now be reviewed by the Oregon Secretary of State for validity. The process to send the bipartisan law to the November 2014 ballot still has a long way to go before being qualified. Safe Roads Coalition partners will stay vigilant and will be watching the process very closely as the Secretary of State’s office goes through the verification process.


ACLU of Oregon is a member of Oregon Safe Roads, a coalition of leaders and organizations from the business, law enforcement, and faith communities working on policies to keep Oregon’s roads safe.