TIGARD, OR (KPTV) – A new state law set to go into effect in 2020 will change what cyclists are legally required to do at certain intersections, if they yield.
Right now, according to the Beaverton Police Department, cyclists in Oregon must adhere to the same laws as cars. In just a few days, at certain intersections, that will change.
Under the new law, cyclists will be allowed to roll through stop sign intersections if they slow the bike to a safe speed.
They can also make a right or left turn into a two-way street or make a turn into a one-way street in the direction of traffic. This law also applies to red flashing light intersections.
Jess Palacios, owner of Cascade Bikes in Tigard, says this new law could help cyclists in their commutes, but it could also pose some risks.
“You can sit at a light or a stop for no reason and I think to incentivize cyclists, you know, it has to be easier than driving a car,” Palacios said. “We definitely have our rights as cyclists but at the same time, we don’t have a car surrounding us, so we kind of have to watch out for our own self.”
Palacios says he’s in support of the new law but his fears of not everyone on the road knowing about the change doesn’t convince him things will go smoothly in this transition.
“I think a lot of drivers are in a hurry, they’re distracted, they don’t know the law. And I think a lot of cyclists often can feel like they own the road,” Palacios said.
Here are some tips from the Beaverton Police Department:
- Cyclists, ride defensively and be aware of your surroundings.
- Even if you’re following the law as a cyclist, remember you’re most at risk.
- Drivers, knowledge is power. Know and understand this new law.
Under this new law, a cyclist can be fined up to $250 for failing to yield at a stop sign or red flashing light intersection. The new law goes into effect January 1, 2020.
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