Chris Thomas and Cynthia Newton presented their bicycle legal clinic entitled “Moving Toward an Active Healthy Community” at Portland’s Alta Planning + Design on April 5. The clinic covered basic legal principles of Oregon law applicable to bicycles (and pedestrians), and guidelines and best practices for roadway riding (on streets with and without bike lanes), crosswalk and bike cross usage, and sidewalk riding, plus how best to address hazardous situations involving navigating around buses and large vehicles and car doors. Chris and Cynthia also shared tips about how auto insurance comes into play when cyclists are injured in a collision with a motor vehicle and how to handle crash and claims situations. The clinic included plenty of back-and-forth with Alta staff, many of whom work daily to design bike- and pedestrian-friendly urban environments. Check out their work here: https://altaplanning.com/. To schedule a bike clinic at your workplace, contact Chris [email@example.com] or Cynthia [firstname.lastname@example.org].
On Friday, October 26th, Cynthia Newton and Chris Thomas presented a seminar on Oregon electric bicycle and scooter law to a group of fellow trial attorneys. Their presentation, entitled “Shock Me Like an Electric Wheel: Oregon E-Bike and Scooter Law,” covered the rules of the road governing e-bike and scooter use as well as what insurance coverage may be available following a collision. They presented as part of the Oregon Trial Lawyers Association’s annual all-day continuing legal education seminar covering topics relevant to motor vehicle collision cases. Cynthia and Chris appreciate the role that electric assisted vehicles can play in Portland’s transportation future, and were honored to speak on this important topic.
TCNF Partner Cynthia Newton spoke with KATU traffic reporter Hannah Olsen about getting your kids to school safely by bike. In this clip, aired in Portland on August 27th, 2018, Cynthia explains her five rules for safe bike travel to school.
1. Find a good route from where you live to your school. That way you can follow the same route every day. No fuss. No rush.
2. You can ride on the sidewalk everywhere in PDX except downtown. Remember to slow to a walking speed when crossing driveways and entering crosswalks so cars have more time to see you.
3. When crossing the street, always use a crosswalk. There is a crosswalk at every corner, even if there is no paint on the roadway. Enter at walking speed so cars have more time to see you.
4. Kids under 16 are required to wear a helmet. Kids are more likely to wear a helmet if their parent does.
5. Wear white and use a light. Lights—a white one in front and a red one in rear—are required in limited visibility conditions, but wearing white or using a light anytime makes you more visible. Drivers don’t hit cyclists they can see.
KATU’s article about this conversation with Cynthia, including some additional advice from TCNF attorney Chris Thomas, can be found here.
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.
Welcome to OregonBikeLaw.com, a public service project of Thomas, Coon, Newton & Frost. We have launched this web page in an effort to improve the understanding of how the laws contained in Oregon’s Vehicle Code (and elsewhere) establish the rights and responsibilities of all of Oregon’s road users. We will be examining specific locations and their legal quirks, answering questions, and publishing informative analysis of certain laws.
This project follows in the tradition of the many years of bicycle and pedestrian legal clinics we have presented in conjunction with many community groups, businesses, municipalities, and schools, as well as our articles, publications and Ray Thomas’ books Pedal Power and Oregon Pedestrian Rights.
Our authors will include three lawyers at Thomas, Coon, Newton & Frost: Partners Ray Thomas, Jim Coon, and Cynthia Newton as well as Associate Chris Thomas.
We also hope to provide insights and commentary from other authors in the community.
If you have any questions about Oregon bicycle law or Oregon pedestrian law please email Cynthia at email@example.com