Front seat laws in Oregon


Most American wear car seat belts while driving. However, this has always been different. In the year 1980, only 10% of people living in America used to wear seat belts. These ignited various campaigns for the Safety of the people in America. The legislation played the main role by encouraging people to drive safely and buckle up their seat belts while riding. It dramatically decreases the fatality rate of several accidents in a year. Therefore, common law was formed to protect the individual or the occupant from the impact of a car crash or being ejected from the vehicle.

Moreover, using a seat belt reduces the number of auto accidents and the severity of injuries. The law has been followed by many of the states in America. However, every state has its modification to the common seatbelt Law. Washington City and Oregon have laws for seat belt use and how to buckle up the seat belt to reduce the count of injuries and the fatality rate.

As per the reports from the Centre for disease control and prevention CDC, nearly 50% of people killed due to car crashes in auto accidents did not wear seat belts. This case was reported in 2009. In the data from CDC, with the seat belt law’s implementation, the fatality rate was reduced by 45%. Apart from this, the rate of severe injuries also decreased by approximately 50% of the people who were sitting in the front seat and driving the car as drivers. At the same time, almost 75% of people who got ejected during the car crash died due to injuries or the impact of the accident. In one year, the rate of injuries and fatalities resulted in lost wages and medical costs of $70 billion.

Front seat laws in Oregon
Child Seat Laws

Seat belt laws in Oregon

Under the rule of Oregon Car Seat Safety(ORS 811.210 – 811.225), all the people who drive the vehicle and the people sitting as passengers are needed to protect and secure themselves with the help of seatbelts. This rule is applied to pickup trucks, cars, motorcycles, and many more. As per the seatbelt law of Oregon, children weighing 40 pounds or more than that has the right to sit on a forward or front-facing seat. However, passengers must wear seat belts while sitting in the front seat. If the height of children is less than 4’9” and ages less than eight years have to sit in a booster seat while wearing the harness.

Children over eight years old can sit in the front seat but must wear a seatbelt. The passenger and driver should also wear a seatbelt while traveling. It’s important to check that the belt fits properly or not. If the lap of the belt does not go right on the thighs or shoulders or if it fits below the collarbone, then you need to change the seatbelt. It is always advised that the right seat belt be positioned below the thighs and shoulder, and the belt should cover the upper part of the collarbone. Here is the table representing the rules of seat belt law[3] in Oregon.

  BEGINNING AGE (in years) UPPER AGE LIMIT (in years) WEIGHT (in lbs) HEIGHT (in inch)
Rear Facing Seats 0 3 30 37
Forward Facing Seats 1 7 40 48
Booster Seats 4 12 90

As such, no law prohibits children from sitting on the car’s front side. There are only a few requirements which are needed to be fulfilled. After that, they can sit in the front seat. Moreover, it’s important to note that the rear-facing seat cannot be positioned at the front seat as the front seat is equipped with an airbag. Anyone who tries to violate the Oregon government’s rules must pay the penalty charges. The best practice is that the child should sit in the rear seat until they reach 12 years of age.

Child safety seat laws in Oregon

Front seat laws in Oregon
Oregon Seat Laws

According to car seat law, there are certain ways in which you can protect your children from the chances of injuries during motor vehicle accidents.

  • If your child is below two years old, they must sit only in the rear-facing seat. There is no exception to this case. Even if the child passes the standard weight limit, they cannot sit until they are older than two years old. Apart from height and age, one more thing which matter is weight. To sit in the forward-facing seat, your child’s age should be more than 20 lbs.
  • Suppose the weight of the child is lower than 40 lbs. Then they need to buckle up in an infant car seat as mentioned under section ORS 811.210 – 811.225 by the Department of Transportation. This law is specially designed based on child safety rules and standards.
  • If the height of a child is not more than 4’9”, but their weight is as per the upper limit set by the
  • Oregon on child safety law that they can sit on the booster seat.
  • If their age is more than eight and their height is more than 57 inches are, eligible to sit on a forward-facing seat. Use the seatbelt even sitting at the front side.

Oregon distracted driving laws

Distraction can be of different types, diverting the driver’s attention while driving the car to something irrelevant. It can hinder the overall driving performance of the driver. All the senses of the driver, which are ears, hands, eyes, and mind, can deviate in different directions. The destruction is mainly of four different types:

  • Visual – If someone is looking elsewhere other than at the road while driving.
  • Auditory – If you hear something irrelevant, it includes using a Mobile phone or music while driving.
  • Manual – To handle other things more than the car steering wheel
  • Cognitive – To think something different meanwhile driving the car

In the year 2017, the distracted driving law was enacted by the Oregon government. This law is also referred to as the law of cell phones. Per the law, riding a car while using or holding mobile devices is illegal. It includes tablets, GPS, cell phones, and laptops. Moreover, there are a few exceptions to this law, including;

  • Use of built-in and hands-free mobile phones is permitted only if you are more than 18 years.
  • Using the mobile phone only for swiping to deactivate or activate the device. Even a single touch is also allowed.
  • Use cell phones when you have stopped somewhere, including the parking lot or stop light, while staying in traffic.
  • If under any medical condition, you can also use your cell phone while driving.
  • If you are more than 18 years, then you are eligible to use the HAM radio.

Oregon DUI laws

DUI law is considered a precise offense. It is known as driving under the influence of intoxicants. Here intoxicants indicate the use of alcohol while driving. In every country, driving after drinking or driving a car is illegal; you cannot drink. In terms of practicality, it can be used instead of DWI and DUII. However, the meaning of every version is the same. That means you will be charged if drunk driving.

A test can indicate the level of alcohol in the blood. If it is found to be more than 0.08%, then you have to pay the fine as mentioned by the state government. You are considered under the influence of inhalants, intoxicating liquor, and other controlled substances. The instrument used to measure the alcohol concentration is known as a breath analyzer.

Oregon motorcycle seat laws

As per the law, if there is a motorcycle on a lane of the road, then their code be only one more motorcycle in the same lane. Lane sharing is illegal, including lane filtering and splitting with other motorcycles.

Operators cannot carry or transport objects which can interfere with the capabilities of handlebar holding. If the motorcycle rider cares for the passenger, it should be a passenger footrest and seat. The passengers can only sit in the sidecar or behind the rider. Passengers should wear helmets. There is no minimum requirement for the size and age of riding a motorcycle in Oregon. However, the operator should carry a license indicating they’re more than 18 years old. Passengers must be able to reach both footrests and be old enough to act in a way that is expected of them.

Oregon laws on driving with pets in the front seat

If you are traveling with their pet, then it’s important that you buckle them on the seat with a seat belt. This is to ensure that if any mis-happening occurs, then your pet will be safe. Some dog owners even left open their dogs which ran through the vehicle or even opened the truck. This could lead to serious injuries. Even if your dog is well-trained and able to coordinate still, you never know what they can do next.

In many cases, it has been observed that pets, especially cats, can jump off the car while driving. This will injure them. Just because of this case, the law was implemented on driving with pets in the front seat.

As per the Oregon Car Seat Safety, it’s mandatory to maintain restraint on the pet while you carry them while travelling. You can keep the pets in a cage or carrier if they are small. You can even use the lead or leash. The restraints implemented on the pet can ensure their safety so they won’t jump out of the vehicle.

Never carry your dog on your lap while driving, as this would be considered a distraction for the passenger and driver. Sometimes it also increases the chance of collision between different vehicles.

Oregon laws on driving with food or drink in the front seat

If you are driving the vehicle, you cannot drink or eat anything, which will be considered a distraction point. Although if you are standing in the parking area in your car or at another red light and you feel trusty, you can drink water or eat something.

But if you have staring in your hands, it’s always advised not to eat or drink anything, especially when sitting in the front or driver seat. If any open container, which includes beer, alcohol, or wine, is found in your vehicle, it will be considered illegal.

Oregon laws on front-seat passengers using electronic devices

As per the law, Using electronic devices, including the mobile phone, while driving in the driver’s seat is not advised. If you want, you can enter your destination before starting the trip. But if you want to enter the address or search for an address while driving, then it is considered illegal. You need to park your vehicle first.

Oregon laws on front seat passenger age restrictions

As per the CDC, children who are less than 13 years can sit on the backside of the car. That means if the child is over 13 years old, they can sit in the front seat. But it’s important to have a seat belt while driving or sitting in the passenger seat.

Oregon laws on front seat passenger number restrictions

There is no restriction on the number of people sitting in the front seat. However, there is a seat for only the driver and this one passenger seat.

Frequently Asked Question

1.    How much do you have to weigh to sit in the front seat?

To sit in the front seat, the minimum weight of the person should be more than 40 pounds, and the height should be more than 4 feet 9 inches.

2.    When can a child sit in the front seat in Oregon?

If the child is over eight years old and their height and weight should be above the limit, they can sit in the front seat.

3.    Can an 8-year-old sit in the front seat?

Yes, if the child is over 8, they can sit on the front forward seat. However, it is recommended that if the child’s age is more than 13, then it would be best.

4.   How Old Do You Have To Be To Ride In The Front Seat In Oregon?

Oregon doesn’t have a specific age requirement for children riding in the front seat. However, they do have child safety seat laws that indirectly influence where kids can sit. Children under 2 must always use rear-facing car seats, and those between 2 and 8 can only use forward-facing seats if they meet specific weight and height requirements. While not mandated by law, it’s strongly recommended to keep children in the back seat for their safety, regardless of age. Remember, always use properly installed car seats or booster seats based on your child’s age, weight, and height.

5.   How Tall Do You Have To Be To Sit In the Front Seat in Oregon?

In Oregon, there is no legal requirement regarding a minimum height for children to sit in the front seat. However, their age and size play a crucial role in how they should be restrained in the vehicle according to child safety seat laws:

You Might want to see this: 

Oregon Booster Seat Law 2023

About The Author

Hassan Zaka

I am an expert in accounting and have diverse experience in technical writing. I have written for various industries on finance, business, and technology. My writing style is clear and simple, and I use infographics and diagrams to make my writing engaging. I can benefit any organization needing technical writing services.

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