Rules of the Road for Drivers

ORS 811.370
Failure to drive within lane

  • exception
  • penalty


Except as provided in subsection (2) of this section, a person commits the offense of failure to drive within a lane if the person is operating a vehicle upon a roadway that is divided into two or more clearly marked lanes for traffic and the driver does not:


Operate the vehicle as nearly as practicable entirely within a single lane; and


Refrain from moving from that lane until the driver has first made certain that the movement can be made with safety.


A person who operates a commercial motor vehicle within a multilane roundabout that is divided into two or more clearly marked lanes for traffic may operate the commercial motor vehicle in more than one lane when it is not practicable to remain entirely within one lane.


The offense described in this section, failure to drive within a lane, is a Class B traffic violation. [1983 c.338 §630; 2011 c.85 §2]

Notes of Decisions

For violation to exist, failure to stay within single lane of travel must be result of act or omission within control of driver. Frasier v. DMV, 172 Or App 215, 17 P3d 582 (2001)

Center line of roadway is not part of traffic lane for purposes of operating vehicle within single lane. State v. McBroom, 179 Or App 120, 39 P3d 226 (2002), Sup Ct review denied

Use of phrase "as nearly as practicable entirely within a single lane" requires drivers to have some valid reason not to keep vehicle entirely within lane to avoid violation of this section. State v. Rosling, 288 Or App 357, 406 P3d 184 (2017), Sup Ct review denied

Chapter 811

See also annotations under ORS chapter 483 in permanent edition.

Notes of Decisions

Under Former Similar Statute

A party in violation of a motor vehicle statute is negligent as a matter of law unless he introduces evidence from which the trier of fact could find that he was acting as a reasonably prudent person under the circumstances. Barnum v. Williams, 264 Or 71, 504 P2d 122 (1972)

Law Review Citations

Under Former Similar Statute

10 WLJ 207 (1974)


Last accessed
Jun. 26, 2021