On January 4th, 2019—less than a week ago—a pedestrian here in Portland was killed by a motor vehicle while crossing the street at the intersection of SW Salmon and Park. This intersection only features one marked crosswalk. According to the statement released by police, the pedestrian was in an “unmarked crosswalk” when he was hit.
by Ray Thomas, Oregon Bicycle and Pedestrian Attorney
Why did the man on the curb with the dog glare angrily at the approaching motorist?
Why did the elderly lady with the bag of groceries look wistful?
Why did the child standing on the curb look confused?
What do these people walking all have in common besides trying to safely cross the street? The answer is confusion and frustration over where they stand, or don’t stand, with approaching motorists to claim their legal right to cross the street in a crosswalk.
When a person riding a bicycle gets right hooked in an intersection, the Oregon Vehicle Code contains a section that protects the cyclist’s right to the right of way. ORS 811.050 provides:
“A person commits the offense of failure of a motor vehicle operator to yield to a rider on a bicycle lane if the person is operating a motor vehicle and the person does not yield the right of way to a person operating a bicycle . . . upon a bicycle lane.”
Ruckus Composites is a Portland-based company that specializes in repair of carbon fiber bicycles. Ruckus’ Shawn Small and Dan Steinle frequently record podcasts on topics related to bicycles and carbon fiber, known as the Fiber Side Chats. Shawn and Dan recently invited Ray and Chris Thomas of Thomas, Coon, Newton & Frost to their studio to discuss bicycle law, including rules of the road, how Oregon compares to other states, and how insurance coverage can protect bicyclists.
The episode is here. We hope you enjoy it!
TCNF’s team of bicycle trial lawyers is pleased to announce the completion of Oregon E-Bike Rights: A Legal Guide for Electric Bike Riders. Written by Ray Thomas, Jim Coon, Cynthia Newton and Chris Thomas, the booklet contains a comprehensive discussion of laws governing the use of electric bicycles in Oregon. Topics include riding in bike lanes, on sidewalks, in state parks and on federal land, as well as insurance coverage and advocacy efforts to improve e-bike laws. TCNF’s bike lawyers felt the need for this booklet now due to the recent increase in popularity of electric bikes and the interesting legal space they occupy between bicycles and motor vehicles.
You can download the booklet here. Updated to 2nd Edition in November 2018.
We hope you find this guide useful and that you contact us with any questions about Oregon e-bike law.