Oregon Traffic Laws – 8 Laws You Should Know About

Oregon Traffic Laws - 8 Laws You Should Know About

Don’t you just hate it when you get a traffic ticket?

Top that with having to pay a fine, and your day is ruined. 

But it doesn’t have to be like that… 

…if you just know and obey the Oregon traffic laws. 

We’re here to help. 

Today, we’re going to run you through 8 important laws you MUST know about. 

We’ll also go over the penalties of each law. 

So buckle up and let’s go!

Traffic Laws in Oregon

Here are the 8 Oregon traffic laws that we’ll talk about:

  • Speed limits
  • Passing 
  • Trailer
  • U-turn
  • Railroad
  • Parking
  • Distracted Driving
  • External Passenger

Let’s go over them one by one. 

Oregon Speed Limits

Ever heard of the basic rule?

If you haven’t, this law simply means that you have to drive at a reasonable speed for the existing conditions. 

So for example, if the speed limit in the area is 55 mph but the road condition is slippery with rain or snow or has hazards on it, then you must reduce your speed. 

If road conditions are fine, you can follow the speed limit.

Here are the usual speed limits depending on the area:

Area:Speed Limit:
Alleys, narrow residential areas15 mph
Business districts, school zones20 mph
Residential districts, public parks, ocean shores (if permitted)25 mph
All roads and highways unless stated otherwise55 mph
Interstate highways unless stated otherwise65 mph

Some highways will also have variable speed limits — where the limit changes depending on the current road conditions. You’ll see these sign changes on a digital screen.

Now, the penalty for a speeding violation depends on the miles per hour you are above the posted speed limit.

Miles above the speed limit:Type of traffic violation:Fine:Fine if in a school or construction zone:
1-10 mphClass D$115$225
11-20 mphClass C$165$325
21-30 mphClass B$265$525
Above 30 mphClass A$440$875
100 mph or more$1,150

If you’re driving over 30 miles per hour more than the limit, you will also get up to 30 days of license suspension. 

For those driving 100 mph more, it’s a mandatory 90-day license suspension. 

Oregon Passing Laws

There are times when you have to pass another vehicle. 

While this is generally permitted, there are rules to passing and places where passing isn’t allowed. 

Here are the Oregon passing laws you need to know: 

  • When driving on a two-way road, you are only allowed to pass on the left side of the vehicle.
  • You are only allowed to pass on the right side of the vehicle if it is turning left or two or more lanes are going in the same direction. 
  • Pass in a passing zone and complete the pass before entering a no-passing zone. 
  • It’s illegal to exceed the speed limit even when passing. 
  • Do not pass when you are on the side of a solid yellow line marked on the pavement. 
  • Do not pass when you’re driving on a hill or curve. 
  • Do not pass when approaching the intersection or when the vehicle in front is stopped at a crosswalk. 

If you pass in a no-passing zone or a vehicle stopped at a crosswalk, you will receive a traffic violation. 

Oregon Trailer Laws

In Oregon, it’s illegal to allow people to ride in any type of trailer, except a commercial bus trailer, a trailer towed by a fifth-wheel device, or an independently-steered trailer. 

If you are riding in these types of trailers, you should be visible to the driver so that you can easily give them signals. 

There should also be an unobstructed exit for the passengers. 

Also, you are only allowed to tow one trailer. Towing two or more trailers or boats is not allowed. 

If you are caught, you will receive a traffic ticket and have to pay a fine. 

Oregon U-Turn Laws

In Oregon, you can’t make u-turns in these areas:

  • Intersections controlled by traffic signals unless stated otherwise.
  • Between intersections in a city.
  • Any area in the city where your vehicle can’t be seen by oncoming traffic within 500 feet.
  • Any area outside the city where your vehicle can’t be seen by oncoming traffic within 1,000 feet.
  • On any railroad crossing.
  • On any location where there is a “No U-Turn” road sign.

Making a u-turn in restricted places is a Class C traffic violation. In some cases, it can become a Class B violation. 

Oregon Railroad Crossings

When you’re at a railroad crossing or approaching one, here are laws you should know: 

  • You are required to stop at the stop line near the railroad crossing. If there is no stop line, stop not less than 15 feet nor more than 50 feet from the nearest rail.
  • It is illegal to drive around, through, or under a railroad gate or barrier when these are lowered. 
  • Stop when you hear or see a train approaching. Do not try to beat it. Trains are faster than they seem and can quickly reach you when you are crossing the railroad.
  • Never stop or park on the tracks. 

Violating these laws lead to a Class B violation. 

Oregon Parking Laws

There are a lot of places where you can park, but do know where you’re not allowed to?

Here are no parking areas mandated by the Oregon law:

  • In a traffic lane, highway, or street.
  • Within an intersection.
  • Within 20 feet of a marked or unmarked crosswalk at an intersection.
  • Within 50 feet of a traffic signal.
  • Within 50 feet of the nearest railroad crossing.
  • In an area marked by a “No Parking” sign.
  • Near construction or road work zones, especially when parking or stopping affects the flow of traffic.
  • On a bridge, overpass, or tunnel.
  • On a sidewalk, crosswalk, or bike lane.
  • Within 10 feet of a fire hydrant.
  • Within 15 feet of the driveway entrance of a fire station on the same side of the road. On the opposite side, don’t park within 75 feet of the entrance.
  • In front of a public or private driveway.
  • In places reserved for persons with disabilities, except if you have a handicap permit or license.

Parking in restricted areas is a Class D traffic violation in Oregon. 

Oregon Distracted Driving Laws

When it comes to distracted driving, the State of Oregon prohibits the use of cell phones or other mobile electronic devices when driving. 

Here are the specifics:

  • For drivers below 18, it is illegal to use any mobile electronic device, even if it is hands-free.
  • For drivers 18 and above, all mobile electronic devices must use hands-free accessories.
  • It is illegal to have any video display visible to the driver.
  • It’s prohibited to play music that can be heard 50 feet away from your vehicle.

Oregon External Passenger Law

If you have a pickup, take note that it’s illegal to have anyone ride on the pickup bed. 

And yes, this law includes those who are 18 and above. 

It’s also illegal to ride on the hood, fender, or any external part of the vehicle for teens below 18 years old. 

Moreover, it is illegal to carry a dog on the external part of the vehicle. 

Breaking these laws will get you a Class D traffic violation. 


And those were the 8 Oregon traffic laws you need to know about. 

Sure, the penalties might not be as severe as, say, DUI. 

However, these laws are placed there to keep everyone safe. 

So you should follow it for the safety of everyone…

And also for avoiding those annoying tickets and fines. 

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