Do-It-Yourself Guide to Ticketing Bad Drivers

Lakeside Bicycles has posted Ray Thomas’s citizen’s guide to issuing traffic citations on its website.

The guide outlines the options available to bicyclists who have been involved in a collision in which the responding police officer declined to issue a traffic ticket to the motorist. Oregon law allows citizens to initiate prosecution against motorists who have violated traffic laws.

Some things to keep in mind when considering initiating a traffic violation prosecution:

  • You must file the action within six months of the incident.
  • Citizen-initiated prosecutions should not be used to settle petty traffic standoffs. Ideally, they should be reserved for situations in which an injury was involved and the driver has committed a clear violation of traffic laws.
  • For insurance purposes, a traffic violation conviction may be important down the road to clarify the legal cause of the accident and to make a legal record of the driver’s law violation.

For more information, visit the Lakeside Bicycles website or visit our Bicycle Law resource section.