Photo credit Gabriel Amadeus
AMITY, Ore. -- Some riders in this year's "Reach the Beach" annual charity bike ride to the Oregon Coast are fuming after police in the town of Amity wrote more than $4,000 in traffic tickets during Saturday's ride.
Amity’s Chief of Police told KGW he did it to send a strong message: Obey traffic laws or else.
Three thousand people paid to participate in the organized tour from Portland to the Oregon Coast, passing through Amity and many other small towns along the way.
In Amity, the Police Chief said he got so many complaints about bicyclists breaking the law it was time to start ticketing.
At one corner in Amity, fourteen bicyclists received traffic tickets for $317 each. Amity police say riders were not obeying the law by stopping at the stop sign.
“We have, like I said, tried for years to get them to comply with the laws they're required to obey, it's fallen on deaf ears and we haven't had any success in education and we had to take it a step further,” said Chief Dan Brown.
Riders KGW spoke with say they thought police were at the intersection to allow riders through, because it was an organized event.
The bicycling blog BikePortland.org first reported the mass ticketing, and published an email from one irate cyclist who stated police stopped many riders without cause, and also claimed police contributed to the issue by creating backups of riders.
Reach the Beach organizers say they warned riders in brochures they must follow all traffic laws.