Bicycle Law Clinic Helps Keep Bend Cyclists Informed

At a recent bicycle law clinic, bicycle and pedestrian rights advocate Ray Thomas spread the word to a group of Bend residents about understanding their legal rights and responsibilities when sharing the road with vehicles. The clinic was featured on the Bike Around Bend website.

“He espoused his philosophy that whenever you are in doubt, critically examine the applicable statutes for the final word,” the article states. “While it can be said that sometimes even the statutes leave room for interpretation, Thomas’ point was that not enough pedestrians, bicyclists or motorists fully understand or appreciate their rights or responsibilities.”

During the presentation, Thomas offered his insights into Oregon statutes that affect bicycle and pedestrian rights, including the recently passed Senate Bill 424, which makes crossing the road safer for pedestrians by clarifying that a pedestrian is considered to be crossing a roadway “when any part or extension of pedestrian’s body moves onto roadway with intent to proceed.” Legally, Oregon drivers must remain stopped for a pedestrian who is crossing, but there has been some confusion over how pedestrians can clearly signal their intent to cross without putting themselves in danger first.

As a lawyer for both injured bicyclists and pedestrians, Thomas offers the free bicycle law clinics to help empower cyclists and pedestrians to use the roads safely and legally. Many cyclists remain unaware of their rights and responsibilities, such as signaling stops and using a bike lane if one is present (unless you are passing, turning left or avoiding a hazard).