Bicyclists do receive citations, warnings

A recent Since You Asked confirmed that bicyclists are subject to the same traffic laws as motorists. Yet one cannot travel across town on any of Medford's major thoroughfares without witnessing numerous infractions made by bicyclists, evidencing an utter disregard for both the law and common sense.

Why are not the laws enforced against bicyclists as they are against motorists?

— Jim A., no location given

You can't travel through Medford anywhere without seeing an infraction, Jim? Like, from one street corner to another 100 feet away? Or did you mean within a minimum distance traveled?

If you mean that you see one of these every time you step outside your door, we're going to suspect you're part law enforcement robot.

Either way, just know that citations are being issued to bicyclists inside city limits.

Just not that many.

From June 30, 2012, to June 30, 2013, Medford police wrote 23 citations for a variety of biking misdeeds, including riding a bicycle on the sidewalk, failure to use a bicycle lane or path and improper lighting on the bicycle.

"That seems to be the most popular," said Lt. Mike Budreau of Medford police.

But while a seeming lack of citations are being issued, police are giving plenty of warnings. A lot of this is dependent on the crime's severity and whether the individual is down on his or her luck financially.

"We would prefer not to make their lives worse, so sometimes we will give warnings. It really just somewhat depends on the violation and the circumstances," Budreau said. "At the same time, if we do have a bicyclist who is clearly violating traffic laws, that's a scenario (where) we'd be more inclined to issue a citation, because they're endangering themselves and others."

Send questions to "Since You Asked," Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; by fax to 541-776-4376; or by email to We're sorry, but the volume of questions received prevents us from answering all of them.

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