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Mudguards or fenders mandatory under Oregon law

I am wondering if the mudguard law is still on the books. If so, I would think an officer could pay his wages in citations. When I travel the highways, I see so many vehicles with large tires throwing water, mud and rock.

— Sheila F., via email

Except for certain types of special-interest vehicles (for example, street rods), road machinery, farm tractors or vintage cars, most vehicles and trailers are required to have some kind of fender or mudguard as specified under Oregon law. (See Oregon Revised Statues 815.180, 815.182, 815.185 and 815.190.)

Drivers operating a vehicle without the proper fender or mudguards — a Class C traffic violation — can be fined $160.

That said, citing these drivers is not high on the Medford Police Department's list of priorities, although it has been done, said Medford police Lt. Mike Budreau.

Mud and grime on the highway is often an indication that there is a construction site nearby. In which case, the contractors have most likely been given a permit to work and access the highway in that area and are easy to track down, said Oregon Department of Transportation spokesman Gary Leaming.

“We usually encourage them to hire somebody to sweep it up,” Leaming 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 email to youasked@mailtribune.com. To see a collection of columns, go to mailtribune.com/youasked. We’re sorry, but the volume of questions received prevents us from answering all of them.