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Handicap scooters are street legal, so give 'em room

What are the rules pertaining to handicapped scooters and where they can be driven? I was driving my SUV in downtown Medford the other day and a man on a red scooter was in a traffic lane, waiting at the signal, on East Main and Oakdale streets. I was concerned about this gentleman's safety. Is this legal?

Bruce B., Central Point

Mobility scooters for the disabled or the elderly are allowed on streets and sidewalks in Medford, says police Lt. Bob Hansen.

It may not be safe. But it is legal, and sometimes necessary, for scooter riders to take to the streets, he said.

Unfortunately, not all sidewalks have handicapped accessible curbing at convenient locations. Sometimes it is necessary for the driver to go out into traffic lanes to cross streets, he said.

"We prefer they ride on the sidewalks. But sometimes it's just not practical or possible," Hansen said.

Hansen urged vehicle drivers to be on the lookout and yield to scooter riders who are less visible and traveling at slow speeds.

"People should give them some room," Hansen 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.