Share the Road
Sharing the road begins with the understanding that drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians have the same rights to safe travel opportunities. Awareness of safety challenges for all modes of travel can improve safety.
Drivers and bicyclists
- Slow down when passing a bicyclist.
- Leave at least 3 feet between your vehicle and bicyclists.
- Make sure you are well past bicyclists before merging into a lane in front of bicycles.
- Yield to bicyclists in the oncoming lanes, as well as bicyclists using crosswalks.
- Check for bicyclists before opening your car doors on the street side.
- Expect the unexpected. Children on bicycles, for example, can sometimes be unpredictable.
- Wear a properly fitted helmet.
- Check your tires and brakes before riding.
- Watch for and avoid road hazards.
- Follow signals and signs.
- Ride on the right side of the right lane in the same direction as other traffic.
- Ride in a straight line. Don’t weave between parked cars or between sidewalks and the street.
- Use hand signals before turning, merging or changing lanes.
- Take the middle of the lane, if the traffic lane is narrow, so drivers know to use another lane to pass.
- Use caution when passing a car on the right. Do not pass stopped cars at a crosswalk, at intersections or if a car ahead of you is turning right.
- Be visible, especially at night, at dusk and at dawn. Use a white front light and a red rear light. Wear reflective clothing.
- Walk your bicycle if you need to use the sidewalk.
Drivers and pedestrians
- Stay alert. Pedestrians can be anywhere, not just in a crosswalk.
- Stop for pedestrians, whether or not they are in a crosswalk.
- Drive slowly, watch for pedestrians and be ready to stop when approaching crosswalks.
- Do not obstruct other drivers’ views of pedestrians. Stop at a distance when allowing pedestrians to cross, particularly at crosswalks.
- Watch for pedestrians who may have moved into your intended path while you are waiting to turn.
- Do not pass a parked or stopped vehicle until you are sure a pedestrian is not crossing in front of it.
- Slow down at night or in bad weather when pedestrians may be harder to see.
- Slow down and be alert in school zones where children may be entering the travel lanes.
- Be alert. Don’t assume all drivers are paying attention.
- Be visible. Particularly at night, wear light-colored or reflective clothing so drivers can see you.
- Obey all traffic signals even if no traffic is coming.
- Stop, look and listen before crossing any street.
- Use crosswalks.
- Make sure oncoming vehicles come to a complete stop before you step off a curb.
- Avoid distractions including phones, earbuds or headphones.
- Walk facing traffic and as close to the curb as possible if you must walk in the street.
- Make sure you have a clear view of all vehicles.
Buses and trains
Buses and trains take longer to stop than a car, and operators cannot see areas behind and to the side of their vehicles as easily as other drivers.
- Be aware of vehicle blind spots. If you can’t see the operator directly or in a mirror, then the operator can’t see you.
- Do not travel in areas marked "Bus Only."
- Pass a bus on the left if its right-turn signal or flashers are active, which means passengers are boarding.
- Do not pass a bus if its yield sign is flashing, which means the bus is entering traffic.
- Look carefully in both directions before crossing train tracks.
- Cross train tracks only at designated crossings.
- Do not cross train tracks if the lights are flashing and/or the gate is down, even if you can’t see the train.
- Leave at least 15 feet between the front and rear of your vehicle and the nearest train.
- Get out and away from your vehicle if it is stalled on train tracks. Call the number on the Emergency Notification System (ENS) sign and provide the dispatcher the crossing number. If there is no sign, call 911.
- Walk bikes at train and bus stations, especially when using pedestrian crossings.
- Ride straight at a right angle across railroad tracks to avoid your tires slipping into the track bed.
All travelers should be cautious around large, slow-moving farm equipment. In 2017 there were 42 crashes statewide involving farm equipment, resulting in one fatality and 32 non-fatal injuries, according to the Oregon Department of Transportation.
Drivers and bicyclists
- Slow down. Cars traveling at 55 mph can close a 300-foot gap (the length of a football field) and overtake a tractor traveling at 15 mph in about 5 seconds.
- Pass with caution. Farm equipment is often wider than it looks from behind. Make sure there is enough space to safely pass.
- Look for gates, driveways or access roads on the left. Farm equipment operators often pull to the right to line up with a gate or driveway on the left. Drivers sometimes mistakenly think the operator is pulling over to let them pass.
Farm equipment operators
- Display a snow-moving vehicle sign (orange triangle with red-reflective border) if traveling at 25 mph or less, as required by state law.
- Move off the road at the safest, most practical location, if your equipment is causing traffic delays.