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Since You Asked

Every day, I take the southbound freeway exit at Barnett and almost every day, someone runs the red, left-turn arrow. Don't the cameras work anymore? I never see the flash when someone runs a red light. I need to know in case I am in a hurry and want to turn on the red arrow.

— Becky B., Medford

The red-light cameras are indeed operational at the intersection of Barnett Road and Stewart Avenue. But they don't track that left-turn signal. (We would caution, however, that there are at times vehicles in an equal hurry on the crossing path and an encounter with them in the intersection would make you really late.)

Northbound and westbound traffic lanes are the only directions under camera surveillance at Barnett and Stewart, said Greg Nichols, traffic officer for Medford Police Department.

"There were more documented violations going that direction," Nichols said. "We get very few going the opposite direction."

The intersection is one of two in Medford monitored by red-light cameras. The other is at Biddle and McAndrews roads, where northbound and eastbound lanes are tracked, Nichols said. Cameras at Barnett and Riverside Avenue were operational beginning in 2002, Nichols said, but had to be moved for construction that recently widened Riverside. Once work was complete, city officials determined there seemed to be an outbreak of lawfulness at the corner and cameras no longer were needed there, he said.

But the absence of cameras shouldn't give you the green light to turn on a red. Nichols or a fellow officer can issue you a ticket for $242.

And unlike the cameras — which only activate when cars travel into the intersection from behind the crosswalk after the light has turned red — police can issue tickets for failure to stop at a yellow light when it's safe to do so — "contrary to the belief that yellow means hit the gas," MPD Lt. Doney said.

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