Oregon Shop Owner Fights for Law Change and WinsJune 26th, 2013 by Editor
Don’t like tinting laws in your state? Oregon native Arthur Meeker says you have the power to change them. The manager of Xtreme Grafx in Albany, Ore., recently took on a rear window covering law in Oregon and says he won, scoring one for the little guy.
“It basically started about three years ago,” he says. “I was going to do a job in a neighboring city and I was pulled over by a police officer concerned about the window perforation on the back windows. He told me it was illegal and I couldn’t have it … I made it my mission to clarify why I couldn’t have it.”
Meeker contacted his state representative, Andy Olson, within several days of receiving the ticket to see what he could do about changing the law he thought was unfair to his industry.
“You can’t place anything upon the window that hinders the view in or out … The police officer even told me that he could pull me over for a bumper sticker he felt hindered his view,” he says.
“We do two or three vehicle wraps a week out of our shop. Many of [my customers] were pulled over by the same officer,” Meeker adds.
Olson had no problem with the use of perforated graphics Meeker says, so he went forward with drafting House Bill 2406 (HB2406) as a solution to the ticketing.
HB2406 amends the law, removing the section about rear windows so the bill reads, “A person commits the offense of obstruction of vehicle windows if the person drives or moves on any highway or owns and causes or knowingly permits to be driven or moved on any highway any vehicle with windows obstructed in a manner prohibited under this section … This subsection only applies to the following windows of the vehicle:
- The front windshield;
- The side-wings;
- The side windows on either side forward of or adjacent to the operator’s seat.”
The bill passed the House in April, was signed into law and will go into effect January 1, 2014.
For Meeker, the experience was invaluable.
“It was a really good learning experience,” he says. “I learned how to go to the transportation committee who is I had to first introduce the bill to. It was a panel; I had to testify and show the film.”
The presentation offered Meeker another opportunity to explain the benefits of graphics and films.
“When I was testifying at the transportation committee, I told them it was one of a number of methods of advertising for many companies,” he says.
The decision was a big win for small film shops, Meeker says, adding that his quest didn’t just focus on his local area, but changed the law statewide.
“The lesson for me is if you don’t believe in something, make a change. It can happen,” he says.
Other concerned industry members should reach out to their local representatives, says Meeker.
“Contact the state representative and put together a strong case. Get your examples together and see what you can do about it,” he adds. “Move forward and talk to them. They’re elected; they’re for you and they are the people who are here to listen to you.
“I feel that if there is something that you feel strongly about, stand up and make a change. Make some noise and see what can be done. There are good and bad ways to go about doing things but you can make a change,” he says.