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.