Oregon Bicycle Laws

Oregon: Bridging the gap between cyclists and cars

Oregon. The highest percentage of bicycle commuters in the country. Old logging roads leading to days-long adventures. High desert and coastal mountains, providing immensely varied terrain. Portland. A commitment to active transportation that includes the first ever bridge built solely for cyclists, pedestrians, and transit. Oregon provides great promise to cyclists. The promise is a work in progress, though. Conflict persists on the road. Drivers, either distracted, rushing, or both, sometimes hit cyclists. Knowing the laws, how cyclists are supposed to ride, and where cyclists are expected to be helps reduce the chances of getting hit. That’s why we’ve provided the following information.

Oregon Bicycle Equipment Law: The Basics

In the United States, equipment requirements for bicycles are established by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (“CPSC”), which regulates what safety and equipment standards a new bicycle must meet to be sold in the United States. Although the CPSC regulations generally only apply to new bicycles available for sale, the CPSC performance standard for brakes…

Oregon Bicycle Equipment Law: Brakes

Oregon law requires that bicycles be equipped with a brake. Seems pretty straightforward, doesn’t it? After all, if you can’t stop your bike, you could cause a collision. But what is a “brake”? Oregon law is silent on this point.

Oregon Bicycle Equipment Laws: Lights & Reflectors

One of the greatest challenges cyclists face is making sure that drivers see them. Not that we’re invisible, but with the excuses negligent drivers make for not seeing us you’d think we are invisible. Or at least, magic. What negligent drivers are really revealing with their “I didn’t see the cyclist” excuses is that they weren’t actually paying attention.

Oregon Bicycle Equipment Law: Audible Warning Devices

This has to be one of the stranger requirements in Oregon’s bicycle laws. It’s illegal to equip a bicycle with a siren or whistle, except on bicycles used by police officers. I’ve never known or heard of any cyclist equipping their bike with a siren or whistle. And yet there it is in the law…

Oregon Bicycle Helmet Law

Want to spark an argument, or at least get a debate going? Bring up the subject of bicycle helmets. Want to really turn the heat up? Start talking about mandatory bicycle helmet laws. While advice abounds from cyclists and non-cyclists alike about the necessity of wearing a helmet while riding, there is, as in physics, an equal and opposite reaction against that advice.