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Oregon Traffic Law: Safety Corridor Designations and Traffic Ticket Legal Research

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What if you get a traffic ticket and it’s based on the police officer’s wrong assumption about the law?

It never hurts to do a little legal research, and in this case, the homework was to make sure everyone got their facts straight: the statute AND the validity of the alleged “safety corridor designation.”

The Oregonian story: “Inflated traffic fines in unofficial safety corridor in Portland may yield refunds,” by Joseph Rose, The Oregonian, April 13, 2010

Excerpt: “Jaemes (sic) Gruelle admits he was guilty of having a heavy foot on that rainy January night, doing 62 in a 45-mph zone on Northeast Portland’s Marine Drive.

Still, Gruelle, a regular commuter on the tricky road hugging the Columbia River, had a major gripe about the ticket that the traffic cop handed him. It said he was caught in a “safety corridor,” which added $90 to the $160 fine.

He questioned the officer. “He told me that he had been writing this same ticket for 10 years,” Gruelle said.

Indeed, for the past decade, Portland police say officers have automatically jacked up fines against an untold number of drivers caught speeding on Marine Drive, assuming that it was a state-designated safety corridor.

One problem: It’s not.

And now the mayor is calling for refunds.” (Link to full story.)

Re-Search Tips:

1) If the link above doesn’t work, you can find the Oregonian story faster from Google than from the Oregon Live website search engine: Just type some variation on this search into your search engine of choice: Oregonian marine drive traffic safety corridor gruelle

2) You can find related stories with a Google search, using these search terms (and others, as you wish): marine drive traffic safety corridor