Oregon bicycle law blog

How do I legally pass a bicyclist in Oregon?

The key word in all the laws regulating how bicyclists are to be passed in Oregon is: safely. Any vehicle operator must always pass another vehicle operator in a same manner no matter the type or speed of the vehicle being passed.

However, there are some key rules to know about passing cyclists lawfully in Oregon:

All vehicles must pass one another on the left at a safe distance.

Passing on the right is unlawful except in limited circumstances: when the overtaken vehicle is turning left, when the overtaking vehicle is a bicycle and the passage can be made safely, and when the vehicles are in separate marked lanes headed in the same direction (like a bike lane adjacent to a mixed-traffic lane).

A motor vehicle operator must always pass a bicyclist at a safe distance.

If a motor vehicle operator is driving above 35 MPH, they must pass a cyclist at a distance that is sufficient that, if the cyclist were to fall over, the car would not contact the rider.

Charley Gee is a personal injury attorney in Portland, Oregon.

Human Powered Law.


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