It’s summer, which means the streets are full of Oregonians and visitors walking, biking and driving.
It also means everyone getting around needs to pay close attention – because you never know who might be walking by.
Nearly 800 people walking were injured and 52 were killed in Oregon motor vehicle crashes every year from 2009 through 2014. Most of these crashes are a result people driving failing to yield to the person walking, and nearly half happened in a crosswalk.
We asked the Oregon Department of Transportation's Safety Division what people driving, walking or biking in Oregon need to know about crosswalks and the law.
- Every intersection is a crosswalk. Leave it to Oregon to do it differently; according to Oregon Revised Statute 801.220, a crosswalk exists at any public road intersection, whether marked or unmarked. Crosswalks also exist between intersections (mid-block) if they are marked with white painted lines. (That's also the law in Washington, by the way.)
- People walking have the right of way when they show intent to cross at an intersection. If you are driving a car or riding a bike, the law says you most stop and stay stopped, giving them six feet of clearance. See a car next to you stopping at an intersection? It's a good idea to stop yourself, especially if you cannot see why they are stopping. It could save a life.
- When you’re walking, it’s not always easy to show someone in a car that you need to cross the street. Show your intent to cross by extending your hand, foot, wheelchair, cane, crutch or bicycle – any part or extension of yourself – into the roadway. For your safety – make sure vehicles moving in both directions have stopped before proceeding.
To help everyone get to where they are going safely, ODOT launched the Oregonian Crossing campaign to let people know that every intersection is a legal crosswalk, striped or not.
Metro is joining ODOT in the campaign with a video that reminds people driving to be alert and watch for people (and furry mythical creatures) walking who want to cross the street.
Download a fact sheet