Sunday, April 25, 2010


I might suggest that YOU brush up and re-read your Oregon Driver's Manual, because you are so wrong, on so many places.

Here's a link for you:

Let's see:

Peds always have the Right of Way in downtown Portland

No, they don't. In fact, if you had read the Oregon Driver's Manual, you'll see:

1. No where is "Downtown Portland" mentioned. Downtown Portland does not have its own set of traffic laws; the traffic laws in Oregon apply uniformly whether you're in downtown Portland, or on U.S. 95 north of McDermott.

2. Let's look at page 45 of the Oregon Driver's Manual. It says:

"The right of way law does not give anyone the right of way; it only says who must yield. Stop signs, yield signs, and traffic signals control traffic at busy intersections. They tell drivers who may go without stopping or who must stop and yield right of way to other drivers, bicyclists, or pedestrians."

Let's see what else the Oregon Driver's Manual has to say about drivers and pedestrians:

"Remember, if you are making a left or right turn, you must yield to oncoming traffic and pedestrians. Pedestrians facing a green light may cross the street in a marked or unmarked crosswalk, unless directed by other signs or a pedestrian signal." (page 25)

"These are special stop and go signals for pedestrians. When used, pedestrians must obey these signals rather than red-yellow-green traffic lights. Pedestrians facing a WALK or walking person signal (white) may legally start to cross the street. If a DONĂ¢€™T WALK or raised hand signal (orange) is flashing or showing, pedestrians may not start to cross the intersection. Pedestrians in the crosswalk when the DONĂ¢€™T WALK or raised hand signal begins flashing should continue crossing the street." (page 26)

"Crosswalk - noted by white lines that outline an area where pedestrians cross the roadway. Drive with caution and be ready to stop when a pedestrian is in the crosswalk. Remember that every corner is a crosswalk, whether it is marked or unmarked (see Pedestrians, Pages 77-78)." (page 30)

"Generally, pedestrians have the right of way at all intersections. There is a crosswalk at every intersection, even if it is not marked by painted lines." (page 77)

"You must stop and remain stopped for a pedestrian crossing at a crosswalk (marked or unmarked) when the pedestrian is:

  • In the lane in which your vehicle is traveling;
    In a lane next to the lane in which your vehicle is traveling;
    In the lane into which your vehicle is turning;
    In a lane adjacent to the lane into which your vehicle is turning, if you
    are making a turn at an intersection that does not have a traffic signal;
    Less than six feet from the lane into which your vehicle is turning, if
    you are making a turn at an intersection that has a traffic signal; or
    In a school crosswalk where there is a traffic patrol member and the
    traffic patrol member signals you to stop.

  • You are not required to stop for a pedestrian in a crosswalk if you are
    traveling along the half of the roadway on the other side of a safety island from the pedestrian." (pages 77-78)

    "Although drivers must yield to pedestrians in crosswalks, pedestrians
    must not suddenly leave a curb or other safe waiting place and walk
    into the path of a vehicle if it is so close that it is an immediate hazard.
    Vehicles cannot stop instantly." (page 79)

    2. The speed lkimit in downtown is 25 mph for that very reason.

    Wrong again. In a business district (of which all of downtown Portland is considered) the speed limit is 20. Not 25, 20. 25 is the speed limit in residential neighborhoods, parks, and ocean beaches. (See page 34.)

    3. I would be held responsible by virtue of my failure to maintain control of the vehicle, failing to observe basic rule - Right of Way.

    I can't believe you don't even know what the Basic Rule is. The Basic Rule has NOTHING to do with right-of-way.

    Page 33 of the Driver's Manual states: "The basic rule states you must drive as a speed that is reasonable and cautious for existing conditions." This is codified in ORS 811.100, 811.105, 811.106 and 811.108. The Basic Rule covers speed, not right-of-way. However, if you are driving in an area with a large number of pedestrians, you could be held in violation of the Basic Rule if you are driving at a speed that puts those pedestrians at risk, even if you are not exceeding the posted speed limit.

    4. It is always the rule that MV's must yield to Peds, except on a freeway perhaps.

    Wrong again. See pages 77 and 78 of your friendly Oregon Driver's Manual that states where you must yield to a pedestrian. And page 79 clearly states that a pedestrian must not suddenly leave a curb or safe waiting place into the path of a vehicle and create a hazard. That's codified in ORS 811.025 and 811.028.

    That rule hasn't changed in the 30 years since I first took the DMV's knowledge test.

    Well, it looks like in the 30 years since you last took the DMV test, you either forgot some things, or are simply ignorant. I suggest you visit your local friendly DMV office and re-take the test, or visit the DMV's website at and take one of the several on-line practice tests available to you.

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