What Are The Oregon Jaywalking Laws?

Pedestrian safety is incredibly important, and there are several laws in place in Oregon to help ensure pedestrians are safe in and around the roadways. Most of the laws enacted to ensure pedestrian safety revolve around the actions that must be taken by drivers to keep pedestrians safe. However, many people wonder about jaywalking and whether or not this is illegal in Oregon. While you will not find any specific language regarding “jaywalking” in Oregon state laws, several municipalities do have laws in place regarding when and how and where pedestrians can cross the roadway.

Pedestrians cannot cross the roadways haphazardly

There may be local ordinances in place regarding where pedestrians can cross the roadways. However, in general, pedestrians in Oregon must follow the following rules.

  • If crossing at a signaled intersection, a pedestrian must obey the traffic control sign. If the sign says do not walk, then they should not walk.
  • If crossing at an area without a marked crosswalk, a person must do so at a right angle to the sidewalk because this will allow the shortest route across the street. Pedestrians should only cross if it is safe to do so, meaning there is no traffic that can cause immediate danger to the pedestrian.
  • While crossing the road, pedestrians must not obstruct the flow of traffic. They should not stop walking, and they should not do anything in the roadway that could be considered disorderly conduct.

In general, pedestrians are free to cross any street in Oregon from any point so long as they are not causing a traffic hazard for vehicles.

Drivers’ responsibility to pedestrians

Under Oregon law, every intersection is a pedestrian crossing, whether or not it is marked as such. Drivers are required to yield to pedestrians at intersections. Drivers must also stop at all marked crosswalks when pedestrians are trying to cross. Drivers cannot try to go around pedestrians, even if there is room to do so, and any driver approaching from the rear of a vehicle already stopped at a crosswalk must also stop.

If a driver approaches a pedestrian who is standing on the sidewalk or at a crosswalk, the driver is not required to stop. However, if the person steps onto the street, the driver must stop. The driver should remain stopped until the pedestrian has made it all the way to the other side of the street.

Pedestrian crashes can cause severe injuries

Pedestrian safety is incredibly important. In the event an accident occurs, a pedestrian is very likely to sustain injuries. Traditional passenger vehicles weigh thousands of pounds and can inflict significant damage on a person’s body. According to the Oregon Department of Transportation, there were 984 total pedestrian crashes during the latest reporting year. Out of those incidents, there were more than 1,000 injuries (not all injuries involved the pedestrians) and 79 fatalities.

It is not uncommon for survivors of pedestrian crashes to sustain broken or dislocated bones, spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, internal organ damage or internal bleeding, and more. Just because there are no specific statewide jaywalking laws does not mean that pedestrians should not closely monitor the roadway. Pedestrians should only cross the roadway when it is safe to do so.

Call us today to speak with our Portland personal injury attorneys.