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Developing Public Policies on Skating:
General Guidelines and Recommendations

J. Scott Osberg
Robert A. Brubaker
Marshall Brown

December 8, 2000


As the fastest growing sport in the 1990s, inline skating has moved into mainstream society.  Like bicycles, skates are designed for efficiency and the designs continue to improve.  Around the world, increasing numbers of people are skating for recreation and transportation. Evidence of the growth in skating is seen in skate sales figures, estimates of the number of skaters, the infusion of skating into popular culture, and in the growth of police skate patrols. Skating is good for health, fitness, overall quality of life, and it is relatively safe. Skating also provides a transportation option that is non-polluting and does not add to traffic congestion. Due to the incredible growth in the number of skaters, some jurisdictions are beginning to grapple with how to update their skate policies. Currently skaters are denied access to public infrastructures such as streets and parks and sometimes fined when caught disobeying the rules. This is often seen as unreasonable by skaters and police alike. This paper provides guidelines and recommendations on how to incorporate skating into the transportation mix.



This paper is about street skating, or skating for transportation; street skating is defined "in the literal sense; i.e., getting about town on one’s skates. It does not refer to curb grinding and stair bashing" (

Skatecity 1999). This paper demonstrates that skating is a viable mode of transportation and offers general guidelines and recommendations on how to begin incorporating skaters into the transportation mix. Given the limited objectives of this paper, much additional work will still be needed to identify specific facility requirements for skaters, to develop model facility design guidelines, and to clarify the legal status of skating.

Skates are here to stay. There has been a dramatic increase in skate sales in many parts of the world, from Sydney to Paris to New York City. In the future, there will be more skaters, not fewer. In the United States, skate participants have increased from 3.1 million in 1989 to 29.1 million in 1997 (1998 American Sports Data).

Data indicate that skates are not used merely for recreation. Rather, commuting, visiting, and shopping are routinely done on skates according to survey data Stories of skate commuters are easy to find on the Internet and skate commuters are easy to spot, often skating at rush hour with backpacks.

No transportation mode is risk-free and skating injuries and deaths do occur. According to Sherker and Cassell (1999), in the United States 43 inline skaters died from January 1992 to August 1996, a period of just under 5 years. Comparing just the four years from 1992 to 1995, there were 136,063 fatalities among motor vehicle occupants, 3,174 cyclist deaths, and 22,271 pedestrian deaths (Traffic Safety Facts, 1998). Ironically, because skate deaths are so rare, they tend to attract a disproportionate amount of press attention compared to deaths of motorists, cyclists, or pedestrians. Although skating is not a risk-free activity, skating is a good way to keep healthy and fit. 

Because of the variety of terrains you can encounter when outdoor skating--hills, turns, and flats--blading has become one of the more complete exercises. It burns up to 600 calories per hour, and works the heart, lungs, and most of the muscle groups from your abdominals and lower back on down (Rappelfeld 1992).

Like bicycles, skates have the potential of reducing auto congestion and urban pollution. Here are a few examples of how commuters use skates:

  • Skates are portable and can be used depending on weather and traffic. Some skaters take the skates out of the car trunk and skate home when there are major traffic tie-ups
  • Other skaters routinely use skates to get to buses or trains and then use them again to get to the office on the other end.
  • Skaters with backpacks at rush hour are generally traveling to or from work or school.

Skeptics who still doubt skating is a viable form of transportation are urged to consider the growth in police skate patrols. Police departments have discovered that, like bicycles, skates can be effective vehicles for community policing. Detachable blades allow police to skate at two to three times the speed of a runner, detach the blades, and continue pursuit in boots. On routine patrols police carry guns and radios and skates add 2-3 inches to their height.

An online list shows the following cities have police skate patrols: Antwerp, Amsterdam, Caracas, London, Paris, San Juan, and Stockholm.














Puerto Rico


San Juan






United Kingdom




United States








Here are some police skate patrols in the United States: 


Ft. Lauderdale


United States




United States




United States




United States





Police on Skates - Main Menu

This is the home page for the police skate page at

Public policy

According to U.S. Secretary of Transportation, Rodney Slater, the "greatest challenge is to build a transportation system that is international in reach; intermodal in form; intelligent in character; and inclusive in nature" (Strategic Plan for Fiscal Years 1997-2002, When new facilities are built, safe provisions need to be made for bicyclists, pedestrians, wheelchair users, and skaters.

Local policymakers can try to stop the clock, but it’s likely that skates will be used for transportation regardless of public policy. In jurisdictions with unreasonable skate restrictions, enforcement is difficult, because police and skaters generally consider it to be a "victimless crime." A Transportation Association of Canada (TAC) report concludes that outlawing inline skating is not feasible (Allingham and MacKay 1997).

The TAC report provides a comprehensive discussion of how skating fits in with other modes of transportation. It includes a discussion of the operational characteristics of skates, infrastructure needs, laws, perceptions of safety and more. Researchers and policymakers who are grappling with where skates belong are encouraged to obtain a copy of the TAC report, available at


General Guidelines

Below are three fundamental guidelines to consider when developing specific skate regulations.


  1. Policies and facility designs should maximize skater choice and protect the safety of all road users.

    Policies that maintain a balance between skater freedom and the safety of all road users are likely to be considered reasonable. Policies that are perceived as reasonable are less likely to be violated and may be more enforceable.

    When possible, skaters should be able to choose between streets and sidewalks. Adult skaters need to be treated (and must behave) as responsible travelers, capable of evaluating the density of motor vehicle and pedestrian traffic and surface conditions. When possible, skaters should be allowed to avoid slick surfaces, cobblestone and heavy traffic (pedestrian or motorized) and switch between streets and sidewalks as appropriate.

    Restricting skates to sidewalks should not be the default policy because: it limits skater’s choice and mobility; sidewalk design is not always conducive to skating; and it may put pedestrians at risk. Like bicyclists, motorcyclists, and large trucks, it is impractical to allow skaters on all facilities. Skaters should be warned and provided with alternatives to some streets, highways, underpasses, and bridges. When overall safety requires skaters to skate on sidewalks, skaters (like cyclists) must signal intentions, skate in control, and yield to pedestrians.

  2. Skaters should be considered vehicle users.

    Cyclists have fought to be considered vehicle users, with many of the rights and responsibilities of motorists. The mobility and safety of skaters requires a similar classification. Adult skaters should definitely not be considered "toy users" and told to skate against traffic, as in Arlington, Virginia (see Appendix).

    According to the International Inline Skating Association (ISAA), skaters should: "Obey all traffic regulations. When on skates, you should consider yourself to be subject to the same obligations as a bicyclist or a driver of an automobile" (

  3. Skaters should be considered "vulnerable road users."

Like motorcyclists, pedestrians, and cyclists, skaters are vulnerable road users. Motorists should treat skaters and other vulnerable road users as fragile and potentially unpredictable. Even skaters who wear helmets and pads are fragile compared to steel-encased motorists. Motorists need to understand that road debris, slick surfaces, and road design flaws can force these vulnerable road users to make sudden movements.

The term "Vulnerable Road Users" is used in Europe, Australia, and elsewhere to refer to pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorcyclists. Usage of the term can be seen at these Web sites:


Next Steps

Much needs to be done to bring skaters into the transportation fold. Below are five steps toward including skating as a valid mode of transportation.

  1. Model legal code is needed showing how to incorporate skaters into the traffic mix.

    This model legal code will detail the practicalities of considering skaters to be vehicle users and vulnerable road users. How do these abstractions translate into how skaters share facilities with other users? Legal code might discuss situations where skaters would not be allowed (e.g., Interstate highways), situations where accommodations for skaters should be made (e.g., bridges), and penalties for breaking the rules. Ideally, skate, pedestrian, cycling, and disability organizations would work together to develop these legal codes.

    Eventually this work would be incorporated into the Uniform Vehicle Code and Model Traffic Ordinance (UVCMTO). The mechanism for making changes in the UVCMTO is to petition the National Committee on Uniform Traffic Laws and Ordinances (NCUTLO).

  2. Skate advocates and their allies need to get skating on the agendas of transportation organizations.

    The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is a key target. NHTSA does a lot of work on pedestrians and bicyclists; a venue for discussing skating needs to be created. The Transportation Research Board is another target.

    The Transportation Research Board (TRB) is a unit of the National Research Council, a private, nonprofit institution that is the principal operating agency of the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering. The Board's mission is to promote innovation and progress in transportation by stimulating and conducting research, facilitating the dissemination of information, and encouraging the implementation of research results

  3. Planners, engineers, and facility managers must begin to consider skater needs in facility design and maintenance.

    Pucher and Dijkstra (2000) demonstrate that the European transportation system is safer than the U.S. system for pedestrians, cyclists, and motorists. The paper offers valuable insight on how U.S. transportation planners and policymakers can begin to deal with non-motorized travelers, including skaters. The Appendix of this paper also has links to a number of Web sites with models for how to accommodate cyclists and pedestrians. The U.S. can be made safer and more accessible for pedestrians, bicyclists (Pucher and Dijkstra 2000), and skaters.

  4. Research is needed to identify model skate-friendly designs for streets, paths, and sidewalks.

    This work would examine engineering and human factors related to skating (braking, speed, operating space requirements) to identify compatible infrastructure designs (grade and surface qualities). The TAC report (Allingham and MacKay 1997) deals with this area and fragments are available online and in scientific journals. A comprehensive review of the literature with suggestions for future research is needed.


  5. Data are needed on skating exposure and injuries.

How many people are out skating for what purposes? How often do people skate and how far? How much protective gear do they wear? What types of injuries are occurring? What type of falls account for most of the injuries? How prevalent are injuries caused by crashes between skaters and pedestrians, cyclists, and motorists? What are the trends in these variables over time? These surveillance data are needed to identify emerging public safety issues, to understand the impact of facility design and skate regulations on usage and safety, and to understand how skates are being used for transportation.


Conclusion and Future Directions

Reasonable regulations that define and protect skater rights and promote public safety are needed. Skaters, police, motorists, pedestrians, wheel chair users, and bicyclists need to know what to expect and how to behave toward each other. More work is needed to outline specific ways skaters can be safely integrated into the traffic mix. The Transportation Association of Canada report (Allingham and MacKay 1997) provides an excellent discussion of some of these details, and it should be consulted when taking these next steps. More work is needed to identify specific engineering solutions and facility design guidelines and to clarify the legal status of skating.


Allingham DI, MacKay D. In-line skating review: Phase2 -- Final Report. Transportation Association of Canada. Ottawa, Ontario, December 1997.

American Sports Data Inc. American Sports Analysis Report. Hartsdale, NY: American Sports Data Inc. 1998.

Osberg JS, Faul S, Poole J, McHenry J. Paper presented at the Transportation Research Board, 79th Annual Meeting, January 10, 2000. Available at:

Pucher J and L Dijkstra. Making Walking and Cycling Safer: Lessons from Europe. Transportation Quarterly, 2000;54(3):25-50.

Rappelfeld J. The Complete In-Line Skater: Basic and Advanced Techniques, Exercises, and Equipment Tips for Fitness and Recreation. St. Martin’s Griffin, New York, 1992.

Sherker S and Cassell E. Preventing In-Line Skating Injuries: How Effective are the Countermeasures? Sports Medicine, 1999;28(5):325-335.

Skatecity. The New York City Inline Skating Guide, retrieved on May 13, 1999.

Traffic Safety Facts 1998. U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, DOT HS 808 983, October 1999.

Uniform Vehicle Code and Model Traffic Ordinance. National Committee on Uniform Traffic Laws and Ordinances, 107 S. West Street, # 110 Alexandria, VA 22314, Phone: 800-807-5290, FAX 540-465-5383.

Acknowledgements: The opinions and recommendations are those of the authors and are not necessarily shared by their employers (AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety and Department of Defense).



This appendix includes links to Web sites that discuss how to promote non-motorized forms of transport and how to keep travelers safe. Selected laws related to skates are also listed.

Responding to serious levels of urban pollution and congestion, many European cities have found ways to encourage non-motorized forms of transportation. This link shows some of these developments:


Car Free Cities Policy Papers

As well as operating as a network for the exchange of ideas, experience and expertise, Car Free Cities acts as political voice for the promotion of a new mobility culture. The political commitment of the members is represented by two key documents:

The network has also responded to a number of communications and policy papers of the European Commission and presented a number of position papers to the EU Council of Ministers:

Some resistance to skating as an intermodal transportation link may come from those who fear skating in buildings, on subway systems, etc. Some relevant products are already on the market.

  • Clip-on skates allow skaters to detach the wheels and enter buildings or hop on the subway.
  • "Hyperwalks" is another product. They fit between skate wheels so you can walk instead of skate. All kinds of products are being developed to protect surfaces and thereby open access to people with [protected] skates. This product or something like it is essential for skates to be used as one link in an intermodal transportation system.

Selected Skate Laws

In Virginia, skating is defined as "play" and skaters are directed to skate against traffic, a dangerous practice that is codified in law.

CODE County of ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA Codified through Ord. No. 98-23,
adopted July 11, 1998. (Supplement No. 9, 7-98)

Subdivision B.  Protection of Pedestrians

§ 14.2-24. Playing on streets or highways; skating, roller coasters, etc.; county manager may close streets for coasting, etc. 

 (a) No person shall play on a highway or street in this County other
than upon the sidewalks thereof. No person shall use on a highway or street in said county, roller skates, coasters, or similar vehicles or toys or other devices on wheels or runners (including sleds, except as otherwise permitted in designated areas), except bicycles and motorcycles. The county manager may, by placing of signs, signals, or barriers, temporarily close streets or otherwise limit their use by motor vehicles to the end that such streets may be used for parades, sledding, street dances, coaster derbies and other activities of this
general nature. Operators of motor vehicles shall follow the directions of such signs or signals. Other users of such closed or limited area shall follow the directions posted.

 (b) No person riding upon any bicycle, roller skates, toys, or other
devices or wheels or runners shall attach the same or himself to any vehicle upon a roadway.


The National Park Service has restrictions against skating and US Park
police have stopped and lectured skaters in the Washington DC area.

Code of Federal Regulations Title 36, Volume 3, Parts 300 to End Revised as of July 1, 1999

From the U.S. Government Printing Office via GPO Access

[CITE: 36CFR1002.20] [Page 218] 

Sec. 1002.20 Skating, skateboards and similar devices.

Using roller skates, skateboards, roller skis, coasting vehicles, or similar devices is prohibited, except in designated areas.

Below are some more state and local laws. Gordon Sanders of The Pegasus Flyers Inline Skate Club compiled these laws. They are available online at:


City of Houston - Code of Ordinances

Section 45-16.   Use of Coasters, Toy Vehicles, and Similar Devices on Roadway.

No person riding in or by means of any coaster, toy vehicle or similar vehicle, shall go upon any roadway, except while crossing such roadway in accordance with the pedestrian crossing regulations. These provisions shall not apply to persons on roller skates.  

(Code 1968, 46-22. Ord No. 90-1182, 1, 10-3-90)  


City of The Dalles, Oregon

Section 11. Sleds or Skates on Streets

The use of rollerskates or in-line skates shall be governed by the provisions of the following subparagraph: 

Any person who uses rollerskates or in-line skates to travel upon a public way or street, or upon a sidewalk, shall comply with the rules and regulations for the operation of bicycles set forth in ORS S14.410 to S14.440, and S14.480, as now constituted.  

A violation of these statutory provisions shall be considered a violation of the City of The Dalles Uniform Traffics Ordinance.


City of Minneapolis, MN


427.300. Rollerskating and skateboarding.

(a) No person shall ride or propel rollerskates or skateboards upon a public street, highway or sidewalk, except in a prudent and careful manner and unless such a person be capable of efficient control and such rollerskates are operated with reasonable regard to the safety of the operator and other persons upon the streets, sidewalks and other public highways of the city.
(b) No person shall ride or propel rollerskates or skateboards upon the Nicollet Mall, or any other public plaza-like area regulated by the City of Minneapolis or other governmental unit, except in connection with an exhibition, commercial venture, organized play or similar organized event authorized by permit from the city council pursuant to Section 440.20 of the Minneapolis Code of Ordinances or as authorized by the appropriate governmental unit.

(80-Or-303, § 1, 12-29-80; 83-Or-252, § 1, 10-14-83; 89-Or-093, § 1, 5-26-89)


Wisconsin State

The State of Wisconsin permits inline skating on any street that is not a state highway. State statutes also allow local jurisdictions to regulate (i.e. prohibit) inline skating if they so desire.

340.01 (24m) "Inline skates" means skates with wheels arranged singly in a tandem line rather than in pairs.

340.01 (43m) "Play vehicle" 

(a) Means a coaster, skate board, roller skates, sled, toboggan, unicycle or toy vehicle upon which a person may ride. 
(b) Does not include inline skates.

346.94 Miscellaneous prohibited acts.

(17) Inline skates on roadway.

(a) A person riding upon inline skates may go upon any roadway under the jurisdiction of a local authority, subject to any restrictions specified by municipal ordinance enacted under s. 349.235.
(b) Any person riding upon inline skates upon any roadway shall ride in a careful and prudent manner and with due regard under the circumstances for the safety of all persons using the roadway.
(c) Notwithstanding any other provision of this subsection or s. 349.235, no person riding upon inline skates may attach the inline skates or himself or herself to any vehicle upon a roadway or, except while crossing a roadway at a crosswalk, go upon any roadway under the jurisdiction of the department.

349.235 Authority to restrict use of inline skates on roadway.

(1) The governing body of any city, town, village or county may by ordinance restrict the use of in line skates on any roadway under its jurisdiction. No ordinance may restrict any person from riding upon inline skates while crossing a roadway at a crosswalk.
(2) The department of natural resources may promulgate rules designating roadways under its jurisdiction upon which inline skates may be used, except that no rule may permit a person using inline skates to attach the skates or himself or herself to any vehicle upon a roadway.


New York City

19-176.1 Reckless operation of roller skates, in-line skates and skateboards prohibited.

a. For purposes of this section:

(1) The term "in-line skate" shall mean a manufactured or assembled device consisting of an upper portion that is intended to be secured to a human foot, with a frame or chassis attached along the length of the bottom of such upper portion, with such frame or chassis holding two or more wheels that are longitudinally aligned and used to skate or glide, by means of human foot and leg power while having such device attached to each such foot or leg.

(2) The term "reckless operation" shall mean operating roller skates, in-line skates or a skateboard on a public street, highway or sidewalk in such a manner as to endanger the safety or property of another.

(3) The term "roller skate" shall mean a manufactured or assembled device consisting of a frame or shoe having clamps or straps or both for fastening, with a pair of small wheels near the toe and another pair at the heel mounted or permanently attached thereto, for skating or gliding by means of human foot and leg power.

(4) The term "sidewalk" shall mean that portion of the street, whether paved or unpaved, between the curb lines or the lateral lines of a roadway and the adjacent property lines, intended for the use of pedestrians. Where it is not clear which section is intended for the use of pedestrians the sidewalk will be deemed to be that portion of the street between the building line and the curb.

(5) The term "skateboard" shall mean a device consisting of a platform, usually curved upwards at each end, to which are mounted or permanently attached two swiveling frames, each of which is used to support and guide a pair of small wheels, which device glides or is propelled by means of human foot or leg power.

b. No person shall engage in the reckless operation of roller skates, in-line skates or a skateboard.

c. A violation of subdivision b of this section shall be a traffic infraction and shall be punishable in accordance with section 1800 of the vehicle and traffic law. Any person who is found guilty of the reckless operation of roller skates, in-line skates or a skateboard shall be subject to a fine of not less than fifty dollars nor more than one hundred dollars.

d. The provisions of this section shall be enforced by the department, the police department and the department of parks and recreation.


New York State

Title VII. Article 34: Operation of bicycle and play devices

Section 1230. These laws apply to skating on public roads, on private roads open to public traffic, and on all bike and skate trails.

Section 1231. You have similar rights and duties as are held by the driver of a motor vehicle. In other words, skating on public roads (excluding expressways, interstates and certain other roads) is legal but you must honor all traffic laws (e.g., obey traffic lights, no wrong-way skating, etc.).

Section 1233. You may not attach yourself to any vehicle in motion (i.e., no "skitching").

Section 1234. If there is a bike/skate lane, you must use it. If not, you must skate as far to the right side of the street as possible so as to not interfere with traffic. If you are skating in a group, you may not skate more than two abreast. You must skate single file if there is other traffic which wishes to pass by you.

Section 1235. You may not carry any article or package which would obstruct your view.

Section 1238. Any child under 14 must wear a helmet when skating. This is a $50 offense, the ticket being issued to the skater's parent/guardian. When skating at night, you must wear a jacket or other clothing with reflective material.


New Jersey State

C.39:4-10.10a Regulation of skateboarding, roller skating.

1. The governing body of any municipality may, by ordinance, regulate the operation of skateboards and roller skates upon the roadways and public properties under municipal jurisdiction; provided, however, that no such ordinance shall:

a. absolve any person operating roller skates or a skateboard upon a permitted roadway of any of the duties applicable to the operator of a bicycle pursuant to Article 3 of chapter 4 of Title 39 of the Revised Statutes and all supplements thereto, except as to those provisions thereof which by their nature can have no application; or

b. prohibit any person from operating a skateboard upon any public roadway, except those specifically designated by ordinance .

For the purpose of this section, "roller skates" means a pair of devices worn on the feet with a set of wheels attached, regardless of the number or placement of those wheels, and used to glide or propel the user over the ground.

c.39:4-10.10b Accommodation of roller skates, skateboards not required.

2. Nothing in P.L.1998, c.36 (C.39:4-10.10a et seq.) or in P.L.1997, c.411 (C.39:4-10.5 et al.) shall obligate the Commissioner of Transportation to in any way maintain, plan, design or construct roadways to accommodate the operation of roller skates or skateboards.

3. This act shall take effect immediately. 


City of Annapolis, Maryland

Ordinance No. O-25-96

Sec. 12.48.020 Non-motorized wheeled vehicles in nonresidential areas. 

A. A person may not ride on or use any non-motorized wheeled vehicle in a negligent manner on any public street, alley sidewalk or way in the city of Annapolis. For purposes of this section, a person is guilty of negligent riding or using a non-motorized wheeled vehicle if the person rides or uses the non-motorized wheeled vehicle in a careless or imprudent manner that endangers any property or the life, safety or person of any individual. 

B. For the purpose of this section, non-motorized wheeled vehicle shall mean skateboards, in-line skates, rollerblades, bicycles, unicycles and any other vehicle with one or more wheel(s) that is propelled by human power.

Sec. 12.48.030 Violation; penalty. A violation of any provision in this chapter shall constitute a misdemeanor. Any person convicted of violating any provision in this chapter shall be fined fifty dollars for each such violation.

Here are two more laws sent by Kalinda Mathis of the International Inline Skating Association.


City of Philadelphia

Bill NO. 970817

Introduced December 11, 1997

Section 1. City Council makes the following legislative findings:

7. The Council recognizes and strongly endorses the importance of recreational activities to the health and welfare of the citizens of this City. Many of these activities however, including bicycling, skateboarding and reckless skating should not be conducted on the crowded public sidewalks, particularly in light of the vast and beautiful public resources available in this City for such activities.

10-611. Sidewalk Behavior

(2) Obstructing the Sidewalk prohibited. No person shall:

(d) Ride a scooter, roller skates or skateboard on any public sidewalk.

(3) Exceptions.

© The prohibitions set forth in subsections(2)©, (d), relating to bicycles, scooters, roller skates and skateboards, shall not apply to any person under the age of six (6). Nor shall it apply to anyone on inline skates who is (a) involved in a volunteer effort with the Inline Town Watch Program affiliated with the City of Philadelphia Police Department, (b) participating in a IISA (International Inline Skating Association) sanctioned event. © skating in a controlled manner on the public sidewalk so as to fit in with the flow of pedestrians to and from points of destination, including but not limited to, places of employment, and engaging in commerce with businesses located along the public sidewalks in this City.



The City Council of The Dalles passed an ordinance that equates in-line skates and bicycles for purposes of transportation. Here are applicable sections from the ordinance, as well as the cited bicycle ordinances:

(Ord. #)

Section 11. Sleds or Skates on Streets

The use of rollerskates or in-line skates shall be governed by the provisions of the following subparagraph:

Any person who uses rollerskates or in-line skates to travel upon a public way or street, or upon a sidewalk, shall comply with the rules and regulations for the operation of bicycles set forth in ORS 814.410 to 814.440, and 814.480, as now constituted. A violation of these statutory provisions shall be considered a violation of the City of The Dalles Uniform Traffics Ordinance.

ORS 814.400 Application of vehicle laws to bicycles.

(1) Every person riding a bicycle upon a public way is subject to and has the same rights and duties as the driver of any other vehicle concerning operating on highways, vehicle equipment and abandoned vehicles, Every person riding a bicycle upon a public way is subject to the provisions except: 

(a) Those provisions which by their very nature can have no application.
(b) When otherwise specifically provided under the vehicle code.

(2) Subject to the provisions of subsection (1) of this section:

(a) A bicycle is a vehicle for purposes of the vehicle code; and
(b) When the term "vehicle" is used the term shall be deemed to be applicable to bicycles.

(3) The provisions of the vehicle code relating to the operation of bicycles do not relieve a bicyclist or motorist from the duty to exercise due care.

  1. Unsafe operation of bicycle on sidewalk; penalty.

(1) A person commits the offense of unsafe operation of a bicycle on a sidewalk if the person does any of the following:

(a) Operates the bicycle so as to suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and move into the path of a vehicle that is so close as to constitute an immediate hazard.

(b) Operates a bicycle upon a sidewalk and does not give an audible warning before overtaking and passing a pedestrian and does not yield the right of way to all pedestrians on the sidewalk.

(c) Operates a bicycle on a sidewalk in a careless manner that endangers or would be likely to endanger any person or property.

(d) Operates the bicycle at a speed greater than an ordinary walk when approaching or entering a crosswalk, approaching or crossing a driveway or crossing a curb cut or pedestrian ramp and a motor vehicle is approaching the crosswalk, driveway, curb cut or pedestrian ramp. This paragraph does not require reduced speeds for bicycles either:

(A) At places on sidewalks or other pedestrian ways other than places where the path for pedestrians or bicycle traffic approaches or crosses that for motor vehicle traffic; or

(B) When motor vehicles are not present.

  1. Except as otherwise specifically provided by law, a bicyclist on a sidewalk or in a crosswalk has the same rights and duties as a pedestrian on a sidewalk or in a crosswalk.

(3) The offense described in this section, unsafe operation of a bicycle on a sidewalk, is a Class D traffic infraction.

  1. Failure to use bicycle lane or path; exceptions; penalty.

(1) Except as provided in subsection (2) of this section, a person commits the offense of failure to use a bicycle lane or path if the person operates a bicycle on any portion of a roadway that is not a bicycle lane or bicycle path when a bicycle lane or bicycle path is adjacent to or near the roadway.

(2) A person is not required to comply with this section unless the state or local authority with jurisdiction over the roadway finds, after public hearing, that the bicycle lane or bicycle path is suitable for safe bicycle use at reasonable rates of speed.

(3) The offense described in this section, failure to use a bicycle lane or path, is a Class D traffic infraction.

  1. Improper use of lanes; exceptions; penalty.

(1) A person commits the offense of improper use of lanes by a bicycle if the person is operating a bicycle on a roadway at less than the normal speed of traffic using the roadway at that time and place under the existing conditions and the person does not ride as close as practicable to the right curb or edge of the roadway.

(2) A person is not in violation of the offense under this section if the person is not operating a bicycle as close as practicable to the right curb or edge of the roadway under any of the following circumstances:

(a) When overtaking and passing another bicycle or vehicle that is proceeding in the same direction.

(b) When preparing to execute a left turn.

(c) When reasonably necessary to avoid hazardous conditions including, but not limited to, fixed or moving objects, parked or moving vehicles, bicycles, pedestrians, animals, surface hazards or other conditions that make continued operation along the right curb or edge unsafe or to avoid unsafe operation in a lane on the roadway that is too narrow for a bicycle and vehicle to travel safely side by side.

(d) When operating within a city as near as practicable to the left curb or edge of a roadway that is designated to allow traffic to move in only one direction along the roadway. A bicycle that is operated under this paragraph is subject to the same requirements and exceptions when operating along the left curb or edge as are applicable when a bicycle is operating along the right curb or edge of the roadway.

(e) When operating a bicycle alongside not more than one other bicycle as long as the bicycles are both being operated within a single lane and in a manner that does not impede the normal and reasonable movement of traffic.

(f) When operating on a bicycle lane or bicycle path.

(3) The offense described in this section, improper use of lanes by a bicycle, is a Class D traffic infraction.

  1. Failure to signal turn; exceptions; penalty.

(1) A person commits the offense of failure to signal for a bicycle turn if the person does any of the following:

(a) Stops a bicycle the person is operating without giving the appropriate hand and arm signal continuously for at least 100 feet before executing the stop.

(b) Executes a turn on a bicycle the person is operating without giving the appropriate hand and arm signal for the turn for at least 100 feet before executing the turn.

(c) Executes a turn on a bicycle the person is operating after having been stopped without giving, while stopped, the appropriate hand and arm signal for the turn.

(3) A person is not in violation of the offense under this section if the person is operating a bicycle and does not give the appropriate signal continuously for a stop or turn because circumstances require that both hands be used to safely control or operate the bicycle.

(4) The appropriate hand and arm signals for indicating turns and stops under this section are those provided for other vehicles under this section are those provided for other vehicles under ORS 811.395 and 811.400.

(5) The offense described under this section, failure to signal for a bicycle turn, is a Class D traffic infraction.

  1. Nonmotorized vehicle clinging to another vehicle; penalty.

(1) A person commits the offense of nonmotorized vehicle clinging to another vehicle if the person is riding upon or operating a bicycle, coaster, roller skates, sled or toy vehicle and the person clings to another vehicle upon a roadway or attaches that which the person is riding or operating to any other vehicle upon a roadway.

(2) The offense described in this section, nonmotorized vehicle clinging to another vehicle, is a Class D traffic infraction.