Is it legal to pass on the right on a bicycle in Oregon? by Ray Thomas

Oregon law did not specifically authorize passing on the right until 2006, when the law was clarified to follow the great majority of other states and the Uniform Vehicle Code in specifically allowing bicycles to pass other vehicles on the right when it can be performed safely. In Oregon bicycles and motor vehicles share the same traffic lane and the fluid movement of traffic is in everyone’s best interest when performed in a safe manner. The Bicycle Transportation Alliance (BTA)…

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Does Oregon have a Dead Red Law?

No.  Oregon does not have a “dead red” law. A dead red law is a law that provides an exception to the violation of Failure to Obey a Traffic Control Device when the light does not detect a vehicle (like a bicycle) and the light fails to cycle through to allow a roadway user to proceed.  This can result in a person being stuck at a light without any option for lawfully passing through the intersection. ORS 811.260 Appropriate driver…

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BikePortland.org Post: Is it legal to ride with my dog?

Bicycle law contains a lot of interesting questions, but the one Jonathan Maus of BikePortland.org asked me recently was one of the more interesting I’ve ever heard: Is it legal to ride your bike with your dog?  Read the BikePortland.org post to find out!

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Do bicyclists have to walk their bikes in crosswalks? by Charley Gee

I encounter this question a lot in the bicycle law clinics I teach. The short answer is: No.  There is no statewide legal requirement to walk a bicycle in a crosswalk. There are, however, a couple of laws to keep in mind when riding up to or in a crosswalk. First, when a bicyclist in Oregon is riding on a sidewalk and is approaching or entering a crosswalk (and also a driveway, a curb cut, or a pedestrian ramp) and…

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Does Oregon have a Bicycle Helmet Law?

Like a lot of legal questions, the question of whether Oregon has a mandatory bicycle helmet law is answered with “it depends”. For bicycle operators under he age of 16 a helmet is required if they are operating a bicycle on a public street or on premises open to the public (like parking lots) per ORS 814.485 Failure to wear protective headgear. For a premises to be considered open to the public it must be made open to the general public…

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Oregon Bicycle Law in the News

Two of our contributors were recently featured in news articles about Oregon bicycle law: Ray Thomas explained the law regarding flashing bicycle lights for The Oregonian’s Joe Rose, specifically how the Oregon statute prohibiting flashing lights on motor vehicles does not apply to bicycles. Charley Gee was quoted in Michael Andersen‘s BikePortland.org‘s story about Uber’s illegal launch in Portland and the insurance implications of being hit by an Uber driver.  Vehicles operated by Uber drivers do not carry the levels of insurance…

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What are Oregon’s Bicycle Parking Laws? by Charley Gee

A bicycle parked blocking access to newspaper boxes, in violation of Portland city Code 16.70.320(A). Oregon’s state statutes do not contain any laws that dictate how a person is supposed to park a bicycle. This has resulted in many cities and towns of Oregon drafting their own bicycle parking ordinances. In some of those cities a violation of the ordinance can result in an illegally parked bicycle being impounded . Below I have included the bicycle parking ordinances for the…

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When do Oregon bicyclists have to signal? by Charley Gee

Oregon law requires bicyclists to signal their turns and stops. While that seems like a simple proposition, this law actually goes deeper than that and contains some key differences from the signaling requirements of motor vehicle operators. Turning ORS 814.440 Failure to signal turn requires a person operating a bicycle to signal their turns, and ORS 811.395 Appropriate signals for stopping, turning, changing lanes and decelerating provides the method for doing so: 100 feet prior to a left turn a…

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When Do Oregon Bicyclists Have to Use Lights? by Charley Gee

As the rains return to Oregon, the sun sets earlier, and we return to standard time, I see more bike lights illuminated on my rides to and from work. Oregon law requires that bicycle operators use lights in “limited visibility conditions.” Excerpt from ORS 815.280 Violation of bicycle equipment requirements (1) A person commits the offense of violation of bicycle equipment requirements if the person does any of the following: (a) Operates on any highway a bicycle in violation of…

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Do Portland’s new Waterfront Park signs have any legal authority? by Charley Gee

Governor Tom McCall Waterfront Park was named one of the best public spaces in the country in 2012. With a mix of walkers, joggers, cyclists, tourists on Segways, and animals on (and off) leashes the paths can be a jumble of transportation modes and uses. The City of Portland has recently installed signs to encourage “faster” riders to use Naito Parkway and also to ride slowly when the path is crowded. Credit: Amanda Ulrich, Instagram: @amandarunpdxforcongo Credit: Amanda Ulrich, Instagram: @amandarunpdxforcongo…

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