Oregon Studded Tire Ban Initiative (2012)

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A Oregon Studded Tire Ban Initiative, also known as Initiative 16, did not make November 2012 statewide ballot in the state of Oregon as an initiated state statute. The measure would have called for banning the use of studded tires.[1] The initiative was proposed by local resident Jeff Bernards.[2]

According an estimate by the Oregon Department of Transportation and news reports, studded tires can cause an estimated $40 million in damage annually. "It’s gripping the asphalt; it’s actually digging a small hole in the asphalt," said Dave Thompson, spokesman for ODOT. According to Thompson an estimated $11 million is spent to repair the damage.[3] Proposals regarding studded tires have reportedly been proposed in the legislature since 1974.[4]

Text of measure

The draft ballot title was:[5]

Eliminates (with exceptions) motorists' current ability to use studded tires November to April by permit

Result of "Yes" Vote: "Yes" vote eliminates (with exceptions) motorists' current ability to use studded tires from November to April and/or by permit, allows fines for such use.

Result of "No" Vote: "No" vote retains motorists' option to use studded tires November to April, other times if authorized by ODOT/other road authority, or if studs retractable.

Summary:Current Oregon law prohibits use of studded tires with specified exceptions; person committing unauthorized use of studded tires subject to fines, other penalties. One exception to the prohibition on studded-tire use allows motorists to use studded tires from November until April; ODOT has authority to shorten or lengthen the time period in which studded-tire use is permitted. Other exceptions allow use of retractable studded tires year round, and authorize ODOT/other road authorities to issue permits allowing studded-tire use at other times. Proposed measure eliminates these exceptions to studded-tire ban, resulting in year-round prohibition on use of studded tires, including retractable studded tires, and eliminating authority of ODOT/other road authorities to authorize studded-tire use by permit. Other provisions.

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See also: List of ballot measure lawsuits in 2012

Lavey & Taylor v. Kroger

The proposed ballot language has been challenged since February 2011 by Dan Lavey and Anna Richter Taylor. Lavey and Taylor work for Gallatin Public Affairs whose clients include Les Schwab, a chain of stores that offer tires, wheels, brakes, shocks, and alignments.[6]

The ballot language was modified in August 2011. On October 6, 2011, the Oregon Supreme Court cleared the ballot language for petition circulation.[7]

  • The court order can be found here.

Path to the ballot

See also: Oregon signature requirements

In order to qualify for the ballot, supporters were required to collect a minimum of 87,213 valid signatures by July 6, 2012.

On January 31, 2011 supporters reportedly started gathering the signatures to get a ballot title from the Oregon Secretary of State's office.[8]

On July 3, 2012, supporters announced that due to the lack of funding required to hire paid petitioners, the measure would not make this year's ballot.[9]

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