Safe for Cyclists

This is in response to Rachel Elise Hawks’s letter.

In Oregon, a bicycle is legally considered to be a vehicle. When riding a bicycle on a road, you have the same rights and duties as people who are driving cars. If the road cannot accommodate both a car and a bicycle side by side, then the car must stay behind the bicycle until they can safely pass. 

Oregon has a Minimum Safe Passing Distance law that is unlike any other state. Instead of specifying the minimum number of feet necessary to make a safe passing distance, the minimum safe passing distance in Oregon is the distance the driver would need to avoid hitting a cyclist if the cyclist were to fall into the driver’s lane of traffic.

Erratic driving behavior such as swerving a vehicle or honking a horn that causes the other party to lose control of their vehicle, could result in damages against the driver.

We all need to get where we are going. My needs are just as important as yours.

Richard Hughes

Cycling instructor,
League of American Bicyclists