OAO Presidents Letter to Oregon Govenor Ted Kulongoski

September 2, 2003

Dear Governor Kulongoski

I am writing to urge you to limit the death and injury on Oregon highways by vetoing Bill 2661. It is not responsible public process to authorize three members of the Oregon Transportation Commission to change the speeds on any section of interstate highway. A 70/65 mph speed limit in Oregon is too fast, and the data clearly shows that raising the speed limit will result in a higher fatality and injury rate. The Oregon State Police are currently at less than half of the force they need to patrol our highways at the current safe limits.

As an orthopedic spine specialist, I treat spine injuries from motor vehicle accidents at Emanual Hospital in Portland. I am tired of looking into the eyes of family members and telling them their loved ones will not likely walk or use their arms again. Please, do not support more of these injuries happening! These are devastating injuries that take months to rehabilitate, severely stress family dynamics, and are very expensive to treat.

We cannot afford the unnecessary loss of human resources and the financial loss associated with increasing the speed limit.

The Oregon Association of Orthopedists continues to oppose raising speeds, as do the majority of the population in all geographic areas.

What is the hurry? Where do any of us have to go so urgently that it is worth the personal and financial pain that such an irresponsible bill would take us?

Veto 2661. It is the right thing to do.

Timothy L Keenen, MD
Oregon Association of Orthopedists


15740 Springbrook Court • Lake Oswego, OR 97034
Phone 503.635.6525