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  #11  
Old 04-27-2010, 06:14 PM
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doesn't that say you cannot use a whistle on a freeway?
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  #12  
Old 04-27-2010, 09:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by biciclero View Post
In Oregon, using a whistle is technically illegal:

815.280 Violation of bicycle equipment requirements; penalty. (1) A person commits the offense of violation of bicycle equipment requirements if the person does any of the following:

(a) Operates on any highway a bicycle in violation of the requirements of this section.

(b) Is the parent or guardian of a minor child or ward and authorizes or knowingly permits the child or ward to operate a bicycle on any highway in violation of the requirements of this section.

(2) A bicycle is operated in violation of the requirements of this section if any of the following requirements are violated:

(a) A bicycle must be equipped with a brake that enables the operator of the bicycle to stop the bicycle within 15 feet from a speed of 10 miles per hour on dry, level, clean pavement.

(b) A person shall not install or use any siren or whistle upon a bicycle. This paragraph does not apply to bicycles used by police officers.
...
That's definitely a "law" worth breaking. Cars get horns. I get my whistle.
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Old 04-28-2010, 10:36 AM
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Default Legal terms

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Originally Posted by Simple Nature View Post
doesn't that say you cannot use a whistle on a freeway?
There are subtle differences among the terms highway, freeway, and roadway when used in legalese. I don't know what the detailed distinctions are, but for the purposes of the ORS, I know that highway means pretty much any paved surface.
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Old 04-28-2010, 12:12 PM
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Default Horns?

Quote:
Cars get horns.
I wonder about air horns--would they be considered "sirens" or "whistles"? I agree that if anybody needs a sure-fire attention-getter, it's cyclists who ride anywhere near clueless/blind motorists. There have been a few times I've wished I had something loud and obnoxious.
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  #15  
Old 04-28-2010, 02:40 PM
Alan Alan is offline
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Default Highways, Laws, Bells and Whistles

IANAL, but...

ORS 801.305 says "Highway" means every public way, road, street, thoroughfare and place, including bridges, viaducts and other structures within the boundaries of this state, open, used or intended for use of the general public for vehicles or vehicular traffic as a matter of right.

(Heh! 801.305 was mentioned here before, back in Sep 06. Ya listenin', Simple Nature? )

I'm wondering if the sausage-making that is legislation simply got confuzzled when laws were written applying to "vehicles" and the authors didn't consider all the differences between autos and bikes. It sure looks like they might have swiped a bit of code for 815.280 (no whistle on bikes) from some other laws about "exhaust whistles" on cars. Maybe they had just enough caffeine to say to themselves, "well, duh, bikes don't have exhaust so we'll just ban the whistle part..." Duh, indeed.

As long as I'm nit-picking, it also looks to me as though bells are prohibited on bikes, as it doesn't specify only motor vehicles in 815.225. Another case where laws related to bikes need clarification. Meanwhile, as far as bike safety, selective adherence to those laws with judicious use of the noise devices makes sense to me.

815.225
Violation of use limits on sound equipment
(1) A person commits the offense of violation of use limits on sound equipment if the person does any of the following:
(a) Uses upon a vehicle, any bell, siren, compression or exhaust whistle.
...

815.230
Violation of sound equipment requirements
(1) A person commits the offense of violation of vehicle sound equipment requirements if the person drives or moves on any highway or owns and causes or knowingly permits to be driven on any highway any vehicle that violates any of the following equipment provisions:
(a) A motor vehicle must be equipped with a horn in good working order, capable of emitting sounds audible under normal conditions from a distance of not less than 200 feet.
(b) No vehicle shall be equipped with any bell, siren, compression or exhaust whistle.
...

vehicle:
1. "Vehicle" means any device in, upon or by which any person or property is or may be transported or drawn upon a public highway and includes vehicles that are propelled or powered by any means. "Vehicle" does not include a manufactured structure. [1983 c.338 109; 2003 c.655 94]
2. "Vehicle" means any wheeled conveyance in, upon or by which any property, livestock or commodity is or may be transported or drawn, but does not include railroad rolling stock.
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