Great news for bicyclists in Oregon: the “Stop as Yield” law goes into effect in Oregon on January 1, 2020. Here’s what you need to know about this new Oregon bike law.

What is the New Oregon “Stop as Yield” Law?

After a sixteen-year fight, Oregon has adapted their own version of the “Idaho Stop” Law. Otherwise known as “Stop as Yield,” this law allows bicyclists to treat approaching stop signs as yield signs.

In other words, if there is approaching cross-traffic with the right of way, a bicyclist must treat the stop sign as a stop sign and come to a complete stop. If, however, there is no traffic approaching, the bicyclist can treat the stop sign as a yield sign and can roll through the intersection without stopping.

This law also applies to turning, which means that in addition to moving through an intersection, if there is no oncoming traffic with the right of way, cyclists can make left or right hand turns without coming to a complete stop.

While “Stop as Yield” has already been passed into law, the change does not go into effect until January 1, 2020.

Do Bicycles Have to Stop at Stop Signs in Oregon?

Starting January 1, 2020, Oregon bicyclists will not have to stop at stop signs when there is no approaching traffic with the right of way. Instead, after slowing to check for traffic, Oregon bicyclists can treat the stop sign as a yield sign and roll through the sign.

If, however, there is cross-traffic with the right of way, the bicyclist must treat the stop sign as such, coming to a complete stop and allowing the person with the right of way to move forward before going through the intersection.

Do Bikes Have to Stop at Red Lights in Oregon?

Yes. The Oregon “Stop as Yield” law does not apply to traffic lights, and all bicyclists should approach red lights the same way they would in a motor vehicle.

The Benefits of the Oregon “Stop as Yield” Law

The “Stop as Yield” law provides extra safety to bicyclists. In fact, after Idaho’s version of the law passed in 1982, bicycle injuries in the state dropped by 14%.

In general, intersections are the most dangerous place for bicyclists. When bicyclists come to a complete stop, it takes a significant amount of time (and muscle!) for them to return to speed, which increases the amount of time they remain in the intersection, thus increasing their risk of injury.

“Stop as Yield” laws also keep cars moving more efficiently, because when it’s their turn to yield, cars don’t have to wait for bike riders to mount their bikes and return to speed after a stop.

Your safety is important to us. Before you hit the road, make sure you understand these Oregon bike and helmet laws. If you or a loved one has been the victim of a bike accident in Portland, contact Paul Galm today for your free consultation.