Traffic Safety Laws in Oregon
Seat Belt Laws for Adults
Oregon requires all adult drivers and passengers to wear a seat belt at all times while the vehicle is in motion. Vehicle owners have the responsibility to maintain proper seat belt equipment. While there are a few exceptions, this law applies to most vehicles, such as cars, pick-up trucks, and motor homes.
Child Car Seat Laws
- Infants must ride in a rear-facing child seat until they are 2 years old and reach the upper weight limit for the car seat.
- If your child weighs 40 lbs or less, you are required to use an approved child safety seat.
- If your child weighs over 40 lbs, or they reach the upper weight limit of their child safety seat, you are required to use a booster seat until they reach 4 ft 9 in tall or they turn 8 years old. (They must fit the adult seat belt properly.)
Cell Phones and Texting
Cell phone restrictions:
- All drivers of all ages are banned from using hand-held cell phones.
- All drivers under 18 years old are banned from all "mobile communication devices" while driving.
- Texting is banned for all drivers, regardless of age, while behind the wheel.
Bicycle/Motorcycle Helmet Laws
Regardless of age, anyone riding on a motorcycle must wear a helmet.
Also, if you're under 16 years old, you must wear a helmet when riding a bicycle.
Oregon state law requires you to have your headlights turned on:
- From sunset to sunrise.
- Any time visibility is reduced to less than 1,000 feet.
While it is not required by law, it is a good idea to have your headlights on whenever you need to have your windshield wipers on due to the weather.
Reporting Unsafe/Drunk Drivers
Call 911 to report a driver who may be intoxicated, or who is driving so erratically that lives may be in danger.
If outside city limits, drivers may also call (800) 243-7865 ((800) 24DRUNK) to report suspected drunk drivers.
While Oregon doesn't have any statewide laws specifically concerning the issue of leaving children or pets unattended in a vehicle, some jurisdictions have rules covering these matters. So, contact local authorities to determine if such rules exist in your area.
However, leaving a child unattended long enough that it poses a threat to the child's safety is considered to be child neglect by the state, a second-degree offense.