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Citation for burnt out tail light?

Medford, OR |

I'm in Oregon. Yesterday after work I got pulled over and cited by a police officer because my motorcycle's tail light wasn't working. I discovered 10 minutes later that this was because the bulb was burned out (it's an old motorcycle) so I bought some new bulbs and now it works fine. The light was working fine that morning but at some point during the day it must have burnt out. The fine on the citation is $110, so my question is, do I really have to pay such a hefty fine just because a bulb was out?? Thanks

Thanks for the responses. I talked with the clerk today and she told me that if I brought my fixed bike in, and had a police officer inspect it, the charge would be dismissed but still with a fee of $25. Still, that's much better than $110!

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Attorney answers 2

Best Answer

A lof of officers will dismiss the ticket at trial if you bring proof that the light has been fixed. Usually the receipt for the bulbs and/or a photo of the fixed light. Depending on the court you are dragged to the judge or cop may walk outside and look at the bike so ride it to trial if you can. Good luck and ride safe!


The reason there is a fine for a burned-out tail light is because it's a safety issue. Without a tail light, someone else might not notice that you have your brakes on, which might cause an accident. Motorcycles are more vulnerable in traffic because of their smaller size, so I would think that you would want as many signal lights as possible on your motorcycle so cars and trucks will be more likely to see you on the road.

I don't know for sure because I don't practice law in Oregon, but it's possible that the judge might dismiss the ticket if you bring in proof that you fixed the tail light. You can call the court clerk to find out if this is allowed.

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Thank you for your response. It just seems like an unfair fine for something they should have given me a chance to fix.