ORS 818.150¹
Safety requirements for towing

This section establishes safety requirements for towing for purposes of ORS 818.160 (Violating towing safety requirements). Except where an exemption under ORS 818.170 (Exemptions from towing safety requirements) specifically provides otherwise, the safety requirements for towing are violated for purposes of ORS 818.160 (Violating towing safety requirements) if any of the following are violated:

(1) If one vehicle is towing another, the tow bar, coupling device and other connections must be of sufficient strength to hold the weight of the towed vehicle upon any grade of highway where operated.

(2) If one vehicle is towing another, the connections of the tow bar, coupling device and other connections must be properly mounted without excessive slack but with sufficient play to allow for universal action of the connections and provided with a suitable locking means to prevent accidental separation of the towed and towing vehicles.

(3) If any vehicle is towing another vehicle and the connection between the vehicle is a chain, rope, cable or any flexible material, a red flag or cloth not less than 12 inches square must be displayed upon the connection.

(4) Any vehicle being towed must not whip or swerve from side to side dangerously or unreasonably or fail to follow substantially in the path of the towing vehicle.

(5) Any towed vehicle in a combination of vehicles must be equipped with one or more safety chains or cables that meet all of the following requirements:

(a) The chains or cables must be so connected to the towed and towing vehicle and to the tow bar as to prevent the tow bar from dropping to the ground in the event the tow bar or coupling device fails.

(b) The chains or cables must have a tensile strength equivalent to the loaded weight of the towed vehicle and a means of attachment to the towed and towing vehicle of sufficient strength to control the towed vehicle in event the tow bar or coupling device fails.

(c) The chains or cables must be attached with no more slack than is necessary to permit proper turning.

(6) Any coupling device on any towing vehicle used as a connection for the tow bar on any towed vehicle having a loaded weight in excess of 5,000 pounds shall be firmly attached to the frame or to a solid connection to the frame and not only to the bumper of the towing vehicle.

(7) Vehicle connecting devices for any vehicle with a loaded weight of not more than 10,000 pounds must be constructed or equipped as required under minimum standards adopted by the Department of Transportation for purposes of this subsection. Standards adopted for purposes of this subsection shall conform to the current standards of the Society of Automotive Engineers or other widely accepted standards that are applicable. [1983 c.338 §522; 1985 c.16 §269; 1985 c.20 §1]

Chapter 818

Atty. Gen. Opinions

Under Former Similar Statute

County crim­i­nal liability for oversized county road maintenance vehicles operating on county road only, (1981) Vol 42, p 98

1 Legislative Counsel Committee, CHAPTER 818—Vehicle Limits, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­ors818.­html (2019) (last ac­cessed May 16, 2020).
 
2 Legislative Counsel Committee, Annotations to the Oregon Revised Stat­utes, Cumulative Supplement - 2019, Chapter 818, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­ano818.­html (2019) (last ac­cessed May 16, 2020).
 
3 OregonLaws.org assembles these lists by analyzing references between Sections. Each listed item refers back to the current Section in its own text. The result reveals relationships in the code that may not have otherwise been apparent. Currency Information