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Motorcycle riders are now allowed to stand

A friend told me that the state has passed a new law allowing motorcycle riders to stand on their bikes while they're moving. Is that true and, if so, what were they thinking (or smoking)?

— Art, by email

Well, we have no idea what they were smoking, but we do have an idea what Oregon's legislators were thinking when they approved Senate Bill 878 (which also was signed by the governor). Your friend had the basic details right, but misunderstood what the law means in allowing motorcyclists — and moped riders — to "stand" on their bikes.

What the new law does is make it legal for bikers to stand while still astride the seat of their cycle or moped. Current law says they must sit astride the seat. The reason for the change is to allow the riders to stand to absorb bumps or to adjust to a more comfortable sitting position. Before the change, it was technically illegal for them to lift their rears off the seat at all. 

So, fear not, Art, you shouldn't expect to suddenly see bikers performing circus acts atop their cycles' seats — or if you do, what you're witnessing will still be illegal.

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