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Rules Pedestrians Must Follow in Portland

Portland streets are busy year-round with a heavy mix of both motorists and pedestrians. To keep everyone safe and to avoid pedestrian accidents and injuries, drivers are required to yield to pedestrians and to avoid behaviors that have shown to increase the likelihood of accidents, such as speeding, drunk driving, and driving while distracted. At the same time, there are rules pedestrians must follow to avoid hazards to themselves and others. The following is a brief rundown of some of the rules concerning pedestrians, as well as additional steps you can take to help avoid injuries.

Portland Pedestrian Laws

Portland’s pedestrian laws provide clear guidelines for avoiding reckless and dangerous behaviors that could result in accidents and injuries. Under the Oregon Revised Statutes (ORS), Section 810.080 designates that pedestrians are required to use established crosswalks when crossing busy streets or intersections. Crosswalks exists anywhere they are marked, as well as in unmarked areas that exist mid-block between intersections. While drivers are required to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks, crossing at other areas not designated could result in injuries for which the pedestrian themselves could be held accountable. Additional laws pertaining to pedestrians include the following:

  • ORS Section 814.010, which requires pedestrians to obey and follow traffic control devices, such as green lights and walk/wait signals. Pedestrians are required to refrain from crossing at red lights or when a “Do Not Walk” signal is flashing.
  • ORS Section 814.40, which requires pedestrians to yield to traffic when not in a crosswalk and to avoid abruptly leaving curbs or stepping into roadways;
  • ORS Section 814.050, which requires pedestrians to yield to ambulances and other emergency vehicles.
  • ORS Section 814.060, which requires pedestrians to use tunnels and overhead passages as opposed to crossing on roadways.
  • ORS Section 814.070, which requires pedestrians to use curbs and other places of safety, such as pedestrian islands. If these are unavailable, the pedestrian should walk on the far left side of the road, facing traffic.
  • ORS Section 814.080, which prohibits pedestrians from standing on the side of the road soliciting rides or attempting to hitchhike.

Failing to obey these laws could result in tickets, fines, and other penalties, while also making you ineligible to receive compensation through an insurance accident claim or through a personal injury lawsuit.

Safety Tips for Pedestrians

In the Portland Pedestrian Safety Guide, the Portland Department Of Transportation advises pedestrians of other tips to stay safe when out walking, These include the following:

  • Wear bright, contrasting colors to increase your visibility;
  • Avoid distractions, such as texting or using ear buds;
  • Stay alert to traffic conditions, and make eye contact with driver’s before stepping off a sidewalk;
  • Make sure all cars have come to a stop before entering crosswalks;
  • Use increased caution when approaching exits or entrances;
  • Avoid using alcohol or any type of drug which could impair your judgment when walking.

Contact Our Portland Personal Injury Attorney for Help

If you or someone you know has been injured in a pedestrian accident, contact our experienced Portland pedestrian attorney right away. At the Johnston Law Firm, we can advise you on how to hold responsible parties accountable so that you can get the compensation you need to recover from your injuries, such as medical expenses and lost wages. Reach out to our Portland personal injury attorney today for a free review of your case.


Marc Johnston

Lead Attorney at Johnston Law Firm, P.C.

Based in downtown Portland, Marc A. Johnston is the owner and managing attorney of the award-winning, internationally-known personal injury law firm, Johnston Law Firm, P.C. Marc's career has been dedicated to representing the injured and individuals who have been treated unfairly by an insurance company. His focus on trial law creates the backbone of the Johnston Law Firm — a firm that is ready to go the distance in seeking justice for its clients.