Bicycle Safety and the Law: Quiz #2 -Portland Bicycling Club

Bicycle Safety and the Law: Quiz #2

Ignorance of the law is no excuse. This applies as much to bicyclists as to everyone else, and there are laws in Oregon that specifically apply to riders of two-wheeled vehicles of the human-powered variety. Here are a couple more questions to test your legal knowledge to keep you and those around you safe. Do YOU know the answers?


  1. Do I HAVE to ride in the bike lane?
  2. What should you do in case of a crash? 


  1. Yes, according to ORS 814.430, but naturally there are exceptions. Also, see Pedal Power*, p. 20: “The Bicyclist’s Bill of Rights: Bicyclists must stay as close to the curb as is practical except when proceeding at the speed of traffic, turning left, the lane is not wide enough to allow safe passing, or surface hazards make it necessary to take more of the lane. Riding along left side of road on one-way street. Bicyclists can ride ‘two up’ (side by side).” The text of the statute also details some of the exceptions for the requirement to be in the bike lane. If you are overtaking or passing another bicycle, when preparing to make a left turn, when necessary to avoid a hazard, when operating as near as practicable to the left side of a one-way street, when riding side-by-side with another cyclist so long as you are not impeding traffic.
  2. If someone is seriously injured, call 911. Administer first aid if you are trained and it is appropriate. Start gathering information. You should write it down, as you may need it later. Identify witnesses other than yourself. Say you witness a crash on the STP where someone needs help. Write down the bib numbers of the people around you. Even if you don’t get the names, the sponsor can identify them later from the bib numbers. If you or anyone is injured on a club ride, ALL witnesses need to fill out an accident report as soon as possible. You need to go to the club website,, log in, find the dropdown menu by hovering the cursor over the little circle in the top right corner. That will contain a silhouette or your photo (if you provided one). Click on “Accident Report Form” about halfway down. Fill out the form as completely as you can. If you get an injury that requires more than $500 in out-of-pocket expenses, refer to your membership card. The club provides up to $10,000 of coverage for your out-of-pocket expenses (e.g., co-pays, deductibles, out-of-network emergency charges) not already covered by any personal insurance you may have.

Dave McQuery, Membership Secretary

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* PEDAL POWER: A Legal Guide for Oregon Bicyclists by Ray Thomas (Eighth Edition)