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Cop's Corner

I have lived in the Sams Valley area for many years. I travel Highway 62 and Table Rock Road almost daily. Since the transfer station has moved to Table Rock Road a few years back I have watched many things fly out of the back of pickups that are on their way to the transfer site. My car has been hit once and almost hit countless other times. It is my understanding that loads must be tied down or even covered to be legal. Is this true? If so, this is happening on a daily basis and not only is it dangerous, it is littering our roads. Here's my idea: I think you should set up an officer at the dump and anyone arriving with an illegal load should be ticketed. You could have the Mail Tribune announce when it will be happening. They do that for the "crosswalk stings" in Medford and it works very well. I bet you would only have to do it maybe twice a year. The word would spread and most would tie down or cover their load of trash. - Peggy S.

You are correct, Peggy. It is against the law. I can also say that even Sheriff Mike Winters has noticed the problem and directed us to try to catch some of these loads that are losing papers or other trash. I just haven't been in the right spot to actually witness one of these loads when something flies out.

You are also correct that there is a law against losing any part of your load. It's found in ORS 818.300 and is titled "Operating with sifting or leaking load." It states a person is in violation if he or she drives or moves on a highway any vehicle or combination of vehicles that is so constructed or loaded so as to allow its contents to drop, sift, leak or otherwise escape. The same applies to owners of a vehicle or combination of vehicles if they aren't driving yet allow the vehicle to be driven or moved and the contents drop, sift, leak or otherwise escape. The offense of operating with a sifting or leaking load is a Class B traffic violation, cited with a bail of $242.

I like your idea about this new kind of "sting." You are probably right, it wouldn't take more than a couple days doing this enforcement for word to spread. I'll have to see if this idea can be tweaked a little bit or if we can dedicate some enforcement along Table Rock Road with a little more attention focused on this particular violation. Then I could keep both you and Sheriff Winters happy.