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MailTribune.com
  • Tires wider than fenders could get you a $160 fine

  • I drive to Medford from Prospect once or twice a week and normally see two or three Sheriff's Department vehicles on the round trip. I also commonly see a Jeep-type vehicle or 4x4 pickup with tires extending 2 inches or more beyond the fenders. It's difficult for me to believe that the deputies didn't also see these vehicles.
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  • I drive to Medford from Prospect once or twice a week and normally see two or three Sheriff's Department vehicles on the round trip. I also commonly see a Jeep-type vehicle or 4x4 pickup with tires extending 2 inches or more beyond the fenders. It's difficult for me to believe that the deputies didn't also see these vehicles.
    Is it your policy to ignore these violations unless you've stopped such rigs for some other violation? I'd expect that the only citizens who like to see these things are the windshield-replacement companies, especially this time of year when ODOT and the Jackson County Roads Department keep the pavement covered with cinders.
    We have three vehicles, and until last week only one of them had an un-starred windshield. Now they all match. So, what's the policy?
    Well, the guys do like those long, straight stretches out in the Prospect area, and they are probably more focused on speed and driving violations than equipment violations. It's good to know that they are being seen, as that is half the battle.
    At one time, I can remember we were cracking down on this violation, but as with all things, I think other more pressing issues have taken its place — cellphone use while driving, for example. I will forward a copy of this article to the traffic sergeant so he'll be aware of your concerns.
    By the way, what we're discussing is found in ORS 815.180 to 815.190. The rule of thumb is this: If your vehicle's tires are so wide that they stick out beyond the fenders or the vehicle's body, then you are in violation of not having proper fenders or mudguards. Violation of the statute is a Class C violation and would get you a ticket with a $160 fine listed on it.
    Dace Cochran, a patrol sergeant with the Jackson County Sheriff's Department, writes a regular Q&A column on police issues for the Mail Tribune. Have a question for him? Write to Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501, or e-mail cochradc@jacksoncounty.org.
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