Safety Laws in Oregon

Last Updated on

Seat Belts

Seat Belt Laws for Adults

All adult drivers and passengers in Oregon State are required to wear a seat belt whenever they are travelling in a vehicle that is in motion. If you own a vehicle, it is your responsibility to maintain the required seat belts and equipment. In fact this law applies to almost all classes of vehicles such as cars, motor homes, pick-ups and trucks.

Child Car Seat Laws

  • All kids that weight below 20 lbs. or under 1 year old must ride in a child seat located in the rear side of your car.
  • All children who weight below 40 lbs. must ride in a federally approved child safety seat.
  • If your children reach the upper limit of their child safety seats or they weigh over 40 lbs., they must ride in a booster seat until they turn 8 years old or reach 4 feet 9 inches.

Cell Phones and Texting

  • All drivers in Oregon, regardless of age, are not allowed to use hand-held cell phones while driving.
  • All drivers younger than 18 years old are not allowed to operate any mobile communication device while driving.

Texting restrictions

All drivers in Oregon, regardless of age, are not allowed to send text messages while they are behind the wheel.

Helmet Laws

  • Motorcycles — all motorcycle riders in Oregon, regardless of age, must wear a helmet.
  • Bicycles — all bicycle riders under 16 years old must wear a helmet while driving.

Headlight Laws

Oregon safety law requires you to turn on your vehicle’s headlights immediately after sunset and before sunrise. This law also requires you to turn on your headlights whenever the weather reduces visibility to less than 1,000 feet. While it’s not required by the safety law, it is a good idea to turn on your vehicle’s headlights whenever you want to turn on your windshield wipers.

Reporting Unsafe/Drunk Drivers

If you spot a driver who is driving dangerously, call 911. Be sure to record the vehicle’s license plate number, description, current location and where it is heading. You may also call (800) 243-7865 to report a drunk or unsafe driver.

Unattended Children/Pets

The state doesn’t have a clear law that can prosecute those who leave their kids unattended in a vehicle, especially during extreme weather conditions. However, there has been an ongoing debate on how to tighten the law to protect endangered kids in a car. If you suspect an unattended kid in a vehicle, inform the law enforcement authorities immediately. If the kid is in danger, dial 911 immediately.


Oregon does have a law that prosecutes those who leave pets unattended in a vehicle. If you spot unattended pet that is in danger, call 911 immediately.