2015 ORS 801.020¹
Statements of policy and purpose
  • applicability of vehicle code

This section contains statements of purpose or intent that are applicable to portions of the vehicle code as described in the following:

(1) The provisions of the vehicle code and other statutory provisions described in this subsection are an exercise of the police powers of this state, and the purpose, object and intent of the sections is to provide a comprehensive system for the regulation of all motor and other vehicles in this state. This subsection is applicable to the following:

(a) Those provisions of the vehicle code relating to the administration of the Department of Transportation.

(b) Those provisions of the vehicle code relating to the registration and titling of vehicles.

(c) Those provisions of the vehicle code relating to the regulation of the businesses of vehicle dealers, dismantlers, vehicle transporters, driver training schools and instructors and the towing and recovery of vehicles.

(d) Those provisions relating to the transfer and alteration of vehicles.

(2) It is the policy of this state to promote and encourage the fullest possible use of its highway system by authorizing the making and execution of motor vehicle reciprocal or proportional registration agreements, arrangements and declarations with other states, provinces, territories and countries with respect to vehicles registered in this and such other states, provinces, territories and countries, thus contributing to the economic and social development and growth of this state.

(3) The provisions described in this subsection shall be applicable and uniform throughout this state and in all political subdivisions and municipalities therein and on the ocean shore which has been or may hereafter be declared a state recreation area. This subsection applies to provisions of the vehicle code relating to abandoned vehicles, vehicle equipment, regulation of vehicle size, weight and load, the manner of operation of vehicles and use of roads by persons, animals and vehicles.

(4) The provisions of the vehicle code applicable to drivers of vehicles upon the highways shall apply to the drivers of all vehicles owned or operated by the United States, this state or any county, city, district or any other political subdivision of this state, subject to such specific exceptions as are set forth in the vehicle code.

(5) Except as provided otherwise by federal law, the provisions of the vehicle code shall be applicable and uniform on federal lands within this state.

(6) Except as provided otherwise by federal law, traffic rules and regulations which are promulgated by a federal authority having jurisdiction over federal lands within this state and which vary from the provisions of the vehicle code shall be the law of the local authority within whose boundaries the federal land is located, and enforceable as such, if:

(a) Local authorities are authorized to vary in the same manner under the provisions of the vehicle code; and

(b) Prior approval for the variance has been obtained by the federal authority from the governing body of the local authority within whose boundaries the federal land is located.

(7) The vehicle code shall govern the construction of and punishment for any vehicle code offense committed after June 27, 1975, the construction and application of any defense to a prosecution for such an offense and any administrative proceedings authorized or affected by the vehicle code.

(8) When all or part of a vehicle code statute is amended or repealed, the statute or part thereof so amended or repealed remains in force for the purpose of authorizing the accusation, prosecution, conviction and punishment of a person who violated the statute or part thereof before the effective date of the amending or repealing Act.

(9) The provisions of the vehicle code described in this subsection relating to the operation of vehicles refer exclusively to operation of vehicles upon highways and the ocean shore which has been or may hereafter be declared to be a state recreation area, except where the vehicle code specifically provides otherwise. This subsection applies to the provisions of the vehicle code relating to abandoned vehicles, vehicle equipment, regulation of vehicle size, weight and load, the manner of operation of vehicles and use of roads by persons, animals and vehicles.

(10) All reciprocity and proportional registration agreements, arrangements and declarations relating to vehicles, in force and effect on August 22, 1969, shall continue in force and effect until specifically amended or revoked as provided by law or by such arrangements or agreements.

(11) It is hereby declared to be the policy of this state:

(a) To provide maximum safety for all persons who travel or otherwise use the public highways of this state;

(b) To deny the privilege of operating motor vehicles on the public highways to persons who by their conduct and record have demonstrated their indifference for the safety and welfare of others and their disrespect for the laws of the state, the orders of its courts and the statutorily required acts of its administrative agencies; and

(c) To discourage repetition of criminal acts by individuals against the peace and dignity of the state and its political subdivisions and to impose increased and added deprivation of the privilege to operate motor vehicles upon habitual offenders who have been convicted repeatedly of violations of traffic laws.

(12) If any of the provisions under ORS 818.200 (Authority to issue variance permits) relating to variance permits are found to contravene section 127 of title 23, United States Code, it shall not serve to render inoperative any remaining of such provisions that may be held not to conflict with that federal law. [1983 c.338 §4; 1985 c.16 §4; 2003 c.655 §84b; 2005 c.654 §36]

Notes of Decisions

This sec­tion does not limit applica­tion of statutes lying outside of vehicle code to vehicle code of­fenses. State v. Baty, 243 Or App 77, 259 P3d 98 (2011)


1 Legislative Counsel Committee, CHAPTER 801—General Provisions and Definitions for Oregon Vehicle Code, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­ors801.­html (2015) (last ac­cessed Jul. 16, 2016).
 
2 Legislative Counsel Committee, Annotations to the Oregon Revised Stat­utes, Cumulative Supplement - 2015, Chapter 801, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­ano801.­html (2015) (last ac­cessed Jul. 16, 2016).
 
3 OregonLaws.org assembles these lists by analyzing references between Sections. Each listed item refers back to the current Section in its own text. The result reveals relationships in the code that may not have otherwise been apparent.