OREGON BICYCLE LAWS

Oregon Bike Laws - The Actual Language of the Laws

ORS 801.150 "Bicycle"

Bicycle means a vehicle that:


(1) Is designed to be operated on the ground on wheels;

 

(2) Has a seat or saddle for use of the rider;

 

(3) Is designed to travel with not more than three wheels in contact with the ground;

 

(4) Is propelled exclusively by human power; and

 

(5) Has every wheel more than 14 inches in diameter or two tandem wheels either of which is more than 14 inches in diameter. [1983 c.338 §22]

ORS 801.155 "Bicycle lane"

Bicycle lane means that part of the highway, adjacent to the roadway, designated by official signs or markings for use by persons riding bicycles except as otherwise specifically provided by law. [1983 c.338 §23]

ORS 801.160 "Bicycle path"

Bicycle path means a public way, not part of a highway, that is designated by official signs or markings for use by persons riding bicycles except as otherwise specifically provided by law. [1983 c.338 §24]

ORS 801.258 "Electric assisted bicycle"

Electric assisted bicycle means a vehicle that:


(1) Is designed to be operated on the ground on wheels;


(2) Has a seat or saddle for use of the rider;


(3) Is designed to travel with not more than three wheels in contact with the ground;


(4) Has both fully operative pedals for human propulsion and an electric motor; and


(5) Is equipped with an electric motor that:


(a) Has a power output of not more than 1,000 watts; and


(b) Is incapable of propelling the vehicle at a speed of greater than 20 miles per hour on level ground. [1997 c.400 §2; 1999 c.59 §233]

ORS 801.608 "Vulnerable user of a public way"

Vulnerable user of a public way means a pedestrian, a highway worker, a person riding an animal or a person operating any of the following on a public way, crosswalk or shoulder of the highway:


(1) A farm tractor or implement of husbandry;

(2) A skateboard;


(3) Roller skates;


(4) In-line skates;


(5) A scooter; or


(6) A bicycle. [2007 c.784 §2; 2009 c.301 §1]

ORS 810.150 "Drain construction"

• compliance with bicycle safety requirements
• guidelines


(1) Street drains, sewer drains, storm drains and other similar openings in a roadbed over which traffic must pass that are in any portion of a public way, highway, road, street, footpath or bicycle trail that is available for use by bicycle traffic shall be designed and installed, including any modification of existing drains, with grates or covers so that bicycle traffic may pass over the drains safely and without obstruction or interference.


(2) The Department of Transportation shall adopt construction guidelines for the design of public ways in accordance with this section. Limitations on the applicability of the guidelines are established under ORS 801.030 (Exemptions from amendments to vehicle code). [1983 c.338 §159]

ORS 811.050 "Failure to yield to rider on bicycle lane"

• penalty


(1) 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, electric assisted bicycle, electric personal assistive mobility device, moped, motor assisted scooter or motorized wheelchair upon a bicycle lane.


(2) This section does not require a person operating a moped to yield the right of way to a bicycle or a motor assisted scooter if the moped is operated on a bicycle lane in the manner permitted under ORS 811.440 (When motor vehicles may operate on bicycle lane).


(3) The offense described in this section, failure of a motor vehicle operator to yield to a rider on a bicycle lane, is a Class B traffic violation. [1983 c.338 §698; 1985 c.16 §336; 1991 c.417 §4; 1997 c.400 §8; 2001 c.749 §23; 2003 c.341 §7]

ORS 811.055 "Failure to yield to bicyclist on sidewalk"

• penalty


(1) The driver of a motor vehicle commits the offense of failure to yield the right of way to a bicyclist on a sidewalk if the driver does not yield the right of way to any bicyclist on a sidewalk.


(2) The driver of a motor vehicle is not in violation of this section when a bicyclist is operating in violation of ORS 814.410 (Unsafe operation of bicycle on sidewalk). Nothing in this subsection relieves the driver of a motor vehicle from the duty to exercise due care.


(3) The offense described in this section, failure to yield the right of way to a bicyclist on a sidewalk, is a Class B traffic violation. [1983 c.338 §702; 1985 c.16 §340; 1995 c.383 §44]

ORS 811.060 "Vehicular assault of bicyclist or pedestrian"

• penalty


(1) For the purposes of this section, recklessly has the meaning given that term in ORS 161.085 (Definitions with respect to culpability).


(2) A person commits the offense of vehicular assault of a bicyclist or pedestrian if:


(a) The person recklessly operates a vehicle upon a highway in a manner that results in contact between the persons vehicle and a bicycle operated by a person, a person operating a bicycle or a pedestrian; and


(b) The contact causes physical injury to the person operating a bicycle or the pedestrian.


(3) The offense described in this section, vehicular assault of a bicyclist or pedestrian, is a Class A misdemeanor. [2001 c.635 §5]

ORS 811.065 "Unsafe passing of person operating bicycle"

• penalty


(1) A driver of a motor vehicle commits the offense of unsafe passing of a person operating a bicycle if the driver violates any of the following requirements:


(a) The driver of a motor vehicle may only pass a person operating a bicycle by driving to the left of the bicycle at a safe distance and returning to the lane of travel once the motor vehicle is safely clear of the overtaken bicycle. For the purposes of this paragraph, a safe distance means a distance that is sufficient to prevent contact with the person operating the bicycle if the person were to fall into the drivers lane of traffic. This paragraph does not apply to a driver operating a motor vehicle:


(A) In a lane that is separate from and adjacent to a designated bicycle lane;


(B) At a speed not greater than 35 miles per hour; or


(C) When the driver is passing a person operating a bicycle on the persons right side and the person operating the bicycle is turning left.


(b) The driver of a motor vehicle may drive to the left of the center of a roadway to pass a person operating a bicycle proceeding in the same direction only if the roadway to the left of the center is unobstructed for a sufficient distance to permit the driver to pass the person operating the bicycle safely and avoid interference with oncoming traffic. This paragraph does not authorize driving on the left side of the center of a roadway when prohibited under ORS 811.295 (Failure to drive on right), 811.300 (Failure to drive on right of approaching vehicle) or 811.310 (Crossing center line on two-way, four-lane road) to 811.325 (Failure to keep camper, trailer or truck in right lane).


(c) The driver of a motor vehicle that passes a person operating a bicycle shall return to an authorized lane of traffic as soon as practicable.


(2) Passing a person operating a bicycle in a no passing zone in violation of ORS 811.420 (Passing in no passing zone) constitutes prima facie evidence of commission of the offense described in this section, unsafe passing of a person operating a bicycle, if the passing results in injury to or the death of the person operating the bicycle.


(3) The offense described in this section, unsafe passing of a person operating a bicycle, is a Class B traffic violation. [2007 c.794 §2]

ORS 811.415 "Unsafe passing on right"

• penalty


(1) A person commits the offense of unsafe passing on the right if the person:

(a) Drives a vehicle to overtake and pass upon the right of another vehicle at any time not permitted under this section.

(b) Drives a vehicle to overtake and pass upon the right of another vehicle at any time by driving off the paved portion of the highway.

(2) For purposes of this section, a person may drive a vehicle to overtake and pass upon the right of another vehicle under any of the following circumstances:


(a) Overtaking and passing upon the right is permitted if:


(A) The overtaken vehicle is making or the driver has signaled an intention to make a left turn;


(B) The paved portion of the highway is of sufficient width to allow two or more lanes of vehicles to proceed lawfully in the same direction as the overtaking vehicle; and


(C) The roadway ahead of the overtaking vehicle is unobstructed for a sufficient distance to permit passage by the overtaking vehicle to be made in safety.


(b) Overtaking and passing upon the right is permitted if the overtaken vehicle is proceeding along a roadway in the left lane of two or more clearly marked lanes allocated exclusively to vehicular traffic moving in the same direction as the overtaking driver.


(c) Overtaking and passing upon the right is permitted if the overtaking vehicle is a bicycle that may safely make the passage under the existing conditions.


(3) The offense described in this section, unsafe passing on the right, is a Class B traffic violation. [1983 c.338 §638; 1987 c.158 §169; 2005 c.316 §1]
 

ORS 811.435 "Operation of motor vehicle on bicycle trail"

• exemptions
• penalty

 

(1) A person commits the offense of operation of a motor vehicle on a bicycle trail if the person operates a motor vehicle upon a bicycle lane or a bicycle path.

 

(2) Exemptions to this section are provided under ORS 811.440 (When motor vehicles may operate on bicycle lane).

 

(3) This section is not applicable to mopeds. ORS 811.440 (When motor vehicles may operate on bicycle lane) and 814.210 (Operation of moped on sidewalk or bicycle trail) control the operation and use of mopeds on bicycle lanes and paths.

 

(4) The offense described in this section, operation of a motor vehicle on a bicycle trail, is a Class B traffic violation. [1983 c.338 §643]

ORS 811.440 "When motor vehicles may operate on bicycle lane"

This section provides exemptions from the prohibitions under ORS 811.435 (Operation of motor vehicle on bicycle trail) and 814.210 (Operation of moped on sidewalk or bicycle trail) against operating motor vehicles on bicycle lanes and paths. The following vehicles are not subject to ORS 811.435 (Operation of motor vehicle on bicycle trail) and 814.210 (Operation of moped on sidewalk or bicycle trail) under the circumstances described:


(1) A person may operate a moped on a bicycle lane that is immediately adjacent to the roadway only while the moped is being exclusively powered by human power.


(2) A person may operate a motor vehicle upon a bicycle lane when:


(a) Making a turn;


(b) Entering or leaving an alley, private road or driveway; or


(c) Required in the course of official duty.


(3) An implement of husbandry may momentarily cross into a bicycle lane to permit other vehicles to overtake and pass the implement of husbandry.


(4) A person may operate a motorized wheelchair on a bicycle lane or path.


(5) A person may operate a motor assisted scooter on a bicycle lane or path.


(6) A person may operate an electric personal assistive mobility device on a bicycle lane or path. [1983 c.338 §645; 1991 c.417 §1; 2001 c.749 §24; 2003 c.341 §8]
 

ORS 814.400 "Application of vehicle laws to bicycles"

(1) Every person riding a bicycle upon a public way is subject to the provisions applicable to and has the same rights and duties as the driver of any other vehicle concerning operating on highways, vehicle equipment and abandoned vehicles, except:


(a) Those provisions which by their very nature can have no application.


(b) When otherwise specifically provided under the vehicle code.


(2) Subject to the provisions of subsection (1) of this section:


(a) A bicycle is a vehicle for purposes of the vehicle code; and


(b) When the term vehicle is used the term shall be deemed to be applicable to bicycles.


(3) The provisions of the vehicle code relating to the operation of bicycles do not relieve a bicyclist or motorist from the duty to exercise due care. [1983 c.338 §697; 1985 c.16 §335]
 

ORS 814.405 "Status of electric assisted bicycle"

An electric assisted bicycle shall be considered a bicycle, rather than a motor vehicle, for purposes of the Oregon Vehicle Code, except when otherwise specifically provided by statute. [1997 c.400 §4]

ORS 814.410 "Unsafe operation of bicycle on sidewalk"

• penalty

 

(1) A person commits the offense of unsafe operation of a bicycle on a sidewalk if the person does any of the following:


(a) Operates the bicycle so as to suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and move into the path of a vehicle that is so close as to constitute an immediate hazard.


(b) Operates a bicycle upon a sidewalk and does not give an audible warning before overtaking and passing a pedestrian and does not yield the right of way to all pedestrians on the sidewalk.


(c) Operates a bicycle on a sidewalk in a careless manner that endangers or would be likely to endanger any person or property.


(d) Operates the bicycle at a speed greater than an ordinary walk when approaching or entering a crosswalk, approaching or crossing a driveway or crossing a curb cut or pedestrian ramp and a motor vehicle is approaching the crosswalk, driveway, curb cut or pedestrian ramp. This paragraph does not require reduced speeds for bicycles at places on sidewalks or other pedestrian ways other than places where the path for pedestrians or bicycle traffic approaches or crosses that for motor vehicle traffic.


(e) Operates an electric assisted bicycle on a sidewalk.


(2) Except as otherwise specifically provided by law, a bicyclist on a sidewalk or in a crosswalk has the same rights and duties as a pedestrian on a sidewalk or in a crosswalk.


(3) The offense described in this section, unsafe operation of a bicycle on a sidewalk, is a Class D traffic violation. [1983 c.338 §699; 1985 c.16 §337; 1997 c.400 §7; 2005 c.316 §2]

ORS 814.420 "Failure to use bicycle lane or path"

• exceptions
• penalty


(1) Except as provided in subsections (2) and (3) of this section, a person commits the offense of failure to use a bicycle lane or path if the person operates a bicycle on any portion of a roadway that is not a bicycle lane or bicycle path when a bicycle lane or bicycle path is adjacent to or near the roadway.


(2) A person is not required to comply with this section unless the state or local authority with jurisdiction over the roadway finds, after public hearing, that the bicycle lane or bicycle path is suitable for safe bicycle use at reasonable rates of speed.


(3) A person is not in violation of the offense under this section if the person is able to safely move out of the bicycle lane or path for the purpose of:


(a) Overtaking and passing another bicycle, a vehicle or a pedestrian that is in the bicycle lane or path and passage cannot safely be made in the lane or path.


(b) Preparing to execute a left turn at an intersection or into a private road or driveway.


(c) Avoiding debris or other hazardous conditions.


(d) Preparing to execute a right turn where a right turn is authorized.


(e) Continuing straight at an intersection where the bicycle lane or path is to the right of a lane from which a motor vehicle must turn right.

 

(4) The offense described in this section, failure to use a bicycle lane or path, is a Class D traffic violation. [1983 c.338 §700; 1985 c.16 §338; 2005 c.316 §3]

ORS 814.430 "Improper use of lanes"

• exceptions
• penalty


(1) A person commits the offense of improper use of lanes by a bicycle if the person is operating a bicycle on a roadway at less than the normal speed of traffic using the roadway at that time and place under the existing conditions and the person does not ride as close as practicable to the right curb or edge of the roadway.


(2) A person is not in violation of the offense under this section if the person is not operating a bicycle as close as practicable to the right curb or edge of the roadway under any of the following circumstances:


(a) When overtaking and passing another bicycle or vehicle that is proceeding in the same direction.


(b) When preparing to execute a left turn.


(c) When reasonably necessary to avoid hazardous conditions including, but not limited to, fixed or moving objects, parked or moving vehicles, bicycles, pedestrians, animals, surface hazards or other conditions that make continued operation along the right curb or edge unsafe or to avoid unsafe operation in a lane on the roadway that is too narrow for a bicycle and vehicle to travel safely side by side. Nothing in this paragraph excuses the operator of a bicycle from the requirements under ORS 811.425 (Failure of slower driver to yield to overtaking vehicle) or from the penalties for failure to comply with those requirements.


(d) When operating within a city as near as practicable to the left curb or edge of a roadway that is designated to allow traffic to move in only one direction along the roadway. A bicycle that is operated under this paragraph is subject to the same requirements and exceptions when operating along the left curb or edge as are applicable when a bicycle is operating along the right curb or edge of the roadway.


(e) When operating a bicycle alongside not more than one other bicycle as long as the bicycles are both being operated within a single lane and in a manner that does not impede the normal and reasonable movement of traffic.


(f) When operating on a bicycle lane or bicycle path.


(3) The offense described in this section, improper use of lanes by a bicycle, is a Class D traffic violation. [1983 c.338 §701; 1985 c.16 §339]
 

ORS 814.440 "Failure to signal turn"

• exceptions
• penalty


(1) A person commits the offense of failure to signal for a bicycle turn if the person does any of the following:


(a) Stops a bicycle the person is operating without giving the appropriate hand and arm signal continuously for at least 100 feet before executing the stop.


(b) Executes a turn on a bicycle the person is operating without giving the appropriate hand and arm signal for the turn for at least 100 feet before executing the turn.


(c) Executes a turn on a bicycle the person is operating after having been stopped without giving, while stopped, the appropriate hand and arm signal for the turn.


(2) A person is not in violation of the offense under this section if the person is operating a bicycle and does not give the appropriate signal continuously for a stop or turn because circumstances require that both hands be used to safely control or operate the bicycle.


(3) The appropriate hand and arm signals for indicating turns and stops under this section are those provided for other vehicles under ORS 811.395 (Appropriate signals for stopping, turning, changing lanes and decelerating) and 811.400 (Failure to use appropriate signal for turn, lane change, stop or exit from roundabout).


(4) The offense described under this section, failure to signal for a bicycle turn, is a Class D traffic violation. [1983 c.338 §703; 1985 c.16 §341]
 

ORS 814.450 "Unlawful load on bicycle"

• penalty


(1) A person commits the offense of having an unlawful load on a bicycle if the person is operating a bicycle and the person carries a package, bundle or article which prevents the person from keeping at least one hand upon the handlebar and having full control at all times.


(2) The offense described in this section, unlawful load on a bicycle, is a Class D traffic violation. [1983 c.338 §704]
 

ORS 814.460 "Unlawful passengers on bicycle"

• penalty

 

(1) A person commits the offense of unlawful passengers on a bicycle if the person operates a bicycle and carries more persons on the bicycle than the number for which it is designed or safely equipped.

 

(2) The offense described in this section, unlawful passengers on a bicycle, is a Class D traffic violation. [1983 c.338 §705]
 

ORS 814.470 "Failure to use bicycle seat"

• penalty


(1) A person commits the offense of failure to use a bicycle seat if the person is operating a bicycle and the person rides other than upon or astride a permanent and regular seat attached to the bicycle.


(2) A person operating an electric personal assistive mobility device is not subject to this section.


(3) The offense described in this section, failure to use bicycle seat, is a Class D traffic violation. [1983 c.338 §706; 2003 c.341 §13]
 

ORS 814.480 "Nonmotorized vehicle clinging to another vehicle"

• penalty


(1) A person commits the offense of nonmotorized vehicle clinging to another vehicle if the person is riding upon or operating a bicycle, coaster, roller skates, sled or toy vehicle and the person clings to another vehicle upon a roadway or attaches that which the person is riding or operating to any other vehicle upon a roadway.

 

(2) The offense described in this section, nonmotorized vehicle clinging to another vehicle, is a Class D traffic violation. [1983 c.338 §707]

ORS 814.484 "Meaning of bicycle and operating or riding on a highway"

(1) For purposes of ORS 814.485 (Failure to wear protective headgear)814.486 (Endangering bicycle operator or passenger)815.052 (Rules establishing standards for protective headgear) and 815.281 (Selling noncomplying bicycle headgear), "bicycle" has the meaning given in ORS 801.150 ("Bicycle") except that:

(a) It also includes vehicles that meet the criteria specified in ORS 801.150 ("Bicycle") (1) to (4) but that have wheels that are 14 inches or less in diameter.

(b) It does not include tricycles designed to be ridden by children.

(2) For purposes of the offenses defined in ORS 814.485 (Failure to wear protective headgear)814.486 (Endangering bicycle operator or passenger) and 815.281 (Selling noncomplying bicycle headgear) (2), a person shall not be considered to be operating or riding on a bicycle on a highway or on premises open to the public if the person is operating or riding on a three-wheeled nonmotorized vehicle on a beach while it is closed to motor vehicle traffic. [1993 c.408 §§3a,3b; 2015 c.138 §28]

ORS 814.485 "Failure to wear protective headgear"

• penalty


(1) A person commits the offense of failure of a bicycle operator or rider to wear protective headgear if the person is under 16 years of age, operates or rides on a bicycle on a highway or on premises open to the public and is not wearing protective headgear of a type approved under ORS 815.052 (Rules establishing standards for protective headgear).

 

(2) Exemptions from this section are as provided in ORS 814.487 (Exemptions from protective headgear requirements).

 

(3) The offense described in this section, failure of a bicycle operator or rider to wear protective headgear, is a specific fine traffic violation. The presumptive fine for failure of a bicycle operator or rider to wear protective headgear is $25. [1993 c.408 §2; 1995 c.581 §1; 2011 c.597 §103]

ORS 814.486 "Endangering bicycle operator or passenger"

• penalty

 

(1) A person commits the offense of endangering a bicycle operator or passenger if:

(a) The person is operating a bicycle on a highway or on premises open to the public and the person carries another person on the bicycle who is under 16 years of age and is not wearing protective headgear of a type approved under ORS 815.052 (Rules establishing standards for protective headgear); or

 

(b) The person is the parent, legal guardian or person with legal responsibility for the safety and welfare of a child under 16 years of age and the child operates or rides on a bicycle on a highway or on premises open to the public without wearing protective headgear of a type approved under ORS 815.052 (Rules establishing standards for protective headgear).

 

(2) Exemptions from this section are as provided in ORS 814.487 (Exemptions from protective headgear requirements).


(3) The offense described in this section, endangering a bicycle operator or passenger, is a specific fine traffic violation. The presumptive fine for endangering a bicycle operator or passenger is $25. [1993 c.408 §3; 1995 c.581 §2; 2011 c.597 §104]

ORS 814.489 "Use of evidence of lack of protective headgear on bicyclist"

Evidence of violation of ORS 814.485 (Failure to wear protective headgear) or 814.486 (Endangering bicycle operator or passenger) and evidence of lack of protective headgear shall not be admissible, applicable or effective to reduce the amount of damages or to constitute a defense to an action for damages brought by or on behalf of an injured bicyclist or bicycle passenger or the survivors of a deceased bicyclist or passenger if the bicyclist or passenger was injured or killed as a result in whole or in part of the fault of another. [1993 c.408 §8]

ORS 815.280 "Violation of bicycle equipment requirements"

• penalty


(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 the requirements of this section.


(b) Is the parent or guardian of a minor child or ward and authorizes or knowingly permits the child or ward to operate a bicycle on any highway in violation of the requirements of this section.


(2) A bicycle is operated in violation of the requirements of this section if any of the following requirements are violated:


(a) A bicycle must be equipped with a brake that enables the operator of the bicycle to stop the bicycle within 15 feet from a speed of 10 miles per hour on dry, level, clean pavement.


(b) A person shall not install or use any siren or whistle upon a bicycle. This paragraph does not apply to bicycles used by police officers.


(c) At the times described in the following, a bicycle or its rider must be equipped with lighting equipment that meets the described requirements:


(A) The lighting equipment must be used during limited visibility conditions.


(B) The lighting equipment must show a white light visible from a distance of at least 500 feet to the front of the bicycle.


(C) The lighting equipment must have a red reflector or lighting device or material of such size or characteristic and so mounted as to be visible from all distances up to 600 feet to the rear when directly in front of lawful lower beams of headlights on a motor vehicle.


(3) Nothing contained in this section shall be construed to prohibit the use of additional parts and accessories on any bicycle consistent with this section.


(4) This section does not apply to electric personal assistive mobility devices. Equipment requirements for electric personal assistive mobility devices are provided in ORS 815.284 (Violation of electric personal assistive mobility device equipment requirements).


(5) The offense described in this section, violation of bicycle equipment requirements, is a Class D traffic violation. [1983 c.338 §502; 1985 c.16 §260; 1985 c.69 §5; 2003 c.158 §15; 2003 c.341 §17; 2007 c.821 §1]

ORS 815.281 "Selling noncomplying bicycle headgear"

• renting or leasing bicycle without having approved headgear available
• penalties


(1) A person commits the offense of selling noncomplying bicycle equipment if the person sells or offers for sale any bicycle headgear that does not meet the standards established by the Department of Transportation under ORS 815.052 (Rules establishing standards for protective headgear).


(2) A person commits the offense of unlawfully renting or leasing a bicycle to another if the person:


(a) Is in the business of renting or leasing bicycles; and


(b) Does not have bicycle headgear approved under ORS 815.052 (Rules establishing standards for protective headgear) available for rental for use by persons under 16 years of age.


(3) The offenses described in this section are Class D traffic violations. [1993 c.408 §5; 2003 c.158 §16]

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