Police to focus on illegal J-turns in downtown area

Drivers: Be aware.

J-turns are against the law and Hillsboro Police Department is enforcing it.

According to Hillsboro Police Chief Dan Kinning, the department has received complaints regarding vehicles crossing double yellow lines, particularly in the downtown district, to park on the opposite side of the street.

The department will begin an increased presence in the downtown area, Kinning said, in an effort to target those making the illegal turns and to educate the public to the dangers of making J-turns.

"The Hillsboro city ordinance clearly states that whenever signs or markings are in place to define a no-passing zone, and clearly visible to an ordinarily observant person, no driver shall at any time drive on the left side of the roadway within the no-passing zone," Kinning said, "or on the left side of any pavement striping designed to mark a no-passing zone."

There are exceptions to the rule that do allow drivers to turn left into or from alleys, private roads, or driveways. It also does not apply when an obstruction exists, making it necessary to drive left of center but the driver should then yield the right-of-way to all vehicles traveling in the proper direction.

Although ordinances and state laws may slightly vary, crossing a double yellow line is unlawful most anywhere in the U.S., and is a basic law which every driver should be familiar, Kinning said.