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U-turns are illegal unless sign posted

Can you clarify the rules for making U-turns? I frequently drive through the intersection of Delta Waters and Highway 62. For drivers on Highway 62 heading west, there is a sign saying U-turns are permitted. There are no such signs going the other three directions, but drivers routinely make U-turns from them. It is my understanding that U-turns are not allowed unless there is a sign saying U-turns are permitted.

— Jon Brazier, Medford

Absolutely right, Jon. The only U-turn allowed at that intersection is for westbound traffic that wants to head back toward Kaleidoscope Pizza, Carl's Jr. or Burger King. The reason a driver can make the U-turn is because it is posted saying a U-turn is allowed. No other legs of that intersection have signs, so U-turns are not allowed.

In fact, just a couple days ago I pulled someone over who was coming north to south from the Costco end of Delta Waters and made a U-turn.

With a few exceptions, a good rule of thumb that will keep you out of trouble is remembering that U-turns are illegal in Oregon at signalized intersections unless you see a sign that specifically allows a U-turn to be made. Don't see a sign? Then don't make the U-turn. For those interested, the exact statute can be found in section 811.365 of the Oregon Revised Statutes.

Dace Cochran, a patrol sergeant with the Jackson County Sheriff's Department, writes a weekly 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.