Traffic Safety Laws in Oregon

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Seat Belts

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 restrictions:

  • 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.

Headlight Laws

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.

Unattended Children/Pets

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.

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